Responding to today’s report that increasing women’s participation in the workforce would boost Australia’s economic production, Greens NSW Senator and women’s spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has called on the Gillard government to establish a separate Office for the Status of Women (page 1, SMH).
“Now we know that increasing women’s participation in high growth sectors such as construction and mining will bring massive economic benefits the government should set up a separate Office for the Status of Women as part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“Job opportunities for women are not expanding in line with other countries. A Goldman Sachs report has found that the gap between male and female participation has widened in recent years.
“The report estimates that closing the gap between male and female job participation would increase economic activity by $180 billion.
“A dedicated office responsible for women’s status at the highest level of government is needed to boost women’s work opportunities.
“Men are dominating well paid growth sector jobs. This is an issue relevant to women’s rights and economic activity that should be a government priority.
“Kate Ellis as Minister for Women should add her voice to the call for this Office to be part of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
“Issues of gender equity need to be a Labor government priority,” Senator Rhiannon said.