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Tony Abbott must put equal pay on the G20 agenda as a step toward rectifying his shameful track record on gender equality

Media Release
Larissa Waters 14 Jul 2014

The Australian Greens support Oxfam’s calls today for equal pay to be on the G20 agenda, following the release of a report that shows it will take 75 years to achieve globally with current efforts.

“Women can’t wait around for 75 years to earn equal pay,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.

“We need to dramatically accelerate efforts to achieve equal pay and a good way to do this is by putting the issue front and centre at the G20.

“The Abbott Government needs to rectify the backward steps it has taken on women’s equality and putting equal pay on the G20 agenda would be a good start.

“The Abbott Government has delayed a scheduled improvement in workplace gender equality reporting, which would have required businesses to provide additional information about how many women they interview, appoint, promote and retain, compared to men.

“This leaves us with less comprehensive data on which to base efforts to close Australia’s shameful gender pay gap of more than 17 per cent.

“The Abbott Government’s university interest hikes unfairly impact women, who are more likely to take time off work to have children and to work in industries that are incredibly important but under-valued, such as the community sector.

“Women who take time off work to have children face paying 30 per cent more interest on their university loans than men, under Tony Abbott’s uni cuts, which the Greens will work to see blocked in the Senate.

“Women are also unfairly impacted by Tony Abbott’s planned abolition of the low income super contribution, as women already have lower retirement savings, again due to the pay gap and caring responsibilities.

“I will move an amendment to the mining tax bill to stop the abolition of the low income super contribution in the Senate, and I invite Labor and the crossbenchers to join the Greens and protect our lowest paid workers.  

“Tony Abbott, our Minister for Women, who has only one female colleague in his Cabinet, is set to make achieving equal pay take even longer and he must turn this around immediately,” Senator Waters said.

Senator Waters will call for equal pay to be on the G20 agenda when the G20 bills come on for debate in the Senate this week.

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