Women continue to endure discrimination, violence, abuse and other forms of oppression. The gender pay gap last year grew by 3 percent; Victorian women earn on average 14 percent less than men. Older women are the fastest growing group among the homeless. Instances of domestic and family violence has surged in recent years while funding for survivor support services has stagnated. Abortion services are usually privately owned and operated, and are not freely and easily available. The list goes on. Women’s oppression must be tackled at all levels.
What we think
- Human freedom and equality are impossible without the liberation of women.
- Measures that enable women to better and more equally participate in political, social, cultural, intellectual and economic life are critical to overcoming sexism.
- Greater representation of women is important to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes. However, representation and cultural change unaccompanied by economic justice will not truly challenge oppression.
- The burden of childcare and associated domestic work should not fall disproportionately on the shoulders of women; raising children, and caring for the elderly, and for sick and vulnerable people is the responsibility of society as a whole.
What we'll fight for
- Expand large-scale public housing so that any woman who wants to can live independently.
- Establish universal access to free, quality early childhood education or childcare services, across a longer span of hours.
- Strengthen workers’ rights to work hours that accommodate parenting and caring responsibilities.
- Provide free menstrual products and contraception as part of basic healthcare provision.
- Reduce the gender pay gap through pay rises in majority-women industries including teaching, nursing, aged care, social work and other care-provision jobs.
- Make abortions available in all public hospitals and remove any religious exemptions on the provision of reproductive health services.
- Increase access to medical abortion by funding training for GPs and developing nurse-led models of abortion care.
- Make surgical abortion procedures free and widely available.
- Recognise women’s right to control their bodies and reproductive function at any point in a pregnancy.
- Expand access to paid parental leave by including 12 months’ paid leave for primary carer and 6 months’ paid leave for other or secondary carer in all state public sector enterprise agreements, mandating the same entitlements in all agreements affecting workers in services that receive public funding, and requiring that businesses that provide goods or services to any public agency provide 12 months’ paid parental leave to their workers.
- Significantly increase funding to women’s, community legal and crisis support services.
- Urgently increase the capacity of accommodation for survivors, and their children, seeking temporary or emergency housing.
- Include in school curriculum comprehensive education about sexism and women’s oppression.