Women Doing More Than Half The Work For Free

13 October 2018

Victorian women are doing most of the state’s unpaid work, at a cost of more than $205 billion, new data has revealed.

Preliminary analysis by Deloitte Access Economics has revealed unpaid work is equivalent to 50 per cent of Victoria’s Gross State Product (GSP) in 2017/18.

The economic modelling, commissioned by the Andrews Labor Government, has revealed that when all the categories of unpaid work and care are considered, women contribute 63.2 per cent of the total quantity, 1.7 times the amount of unpaid work and care that men do.

The high level of unpaid work undertaken by women helps to explain the persistent gender pay gap. Australian women working full time are still earning $244.80 less a week than men.

On Equal Pay Day the Labor Government announced major initiatives to confront two of the gender pay gap’s reinforcing drivers: the burden of unpaid work, and time out of the workforce to care for children.

The Labor Government announced $278,000 for ‘Grace Papers’, an online support program which will be implemented in the Victorian Public Sector.

Grace Papers’ supports parents and their managers navigate pregnancy, parental leave, and return to work.

It helps managers have constructive career planning conversations with staff, including fathers who are primary carers.

The program will complement reforms underway to close the pay gap in the public sector. Role modelling best practice for gender equality in the public service is a key action of Victoria’s gender equality strategy, Safe and Strong.

The full report from Deloitte will be available later this year.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins

“Putting a dollar figure on unpaid domestic and care work means we can actually value it. When we value unpaid work, it’s more likely we’ll share it.”

“If we share unpaid work, we’re that much closer to a Victoria where everyone is safe and equal.”

“Until we have gender balance with unpaid work we won’t close the pay gap between men and women.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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