IEU Speaks on… International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 #EmbraceEquity
International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023
International Women’s Day celebrates the achievement of women across the world and the significant social, economic and political gains made by women in the last 12 months. The day is also a call to action, as unions continue to fight for equality and a faster rate of change to create a safer and fairer world for women and girls.
72% of the IEU’s 75,000 members are women. Our teachers and school support staff have a unique role to play in the education of girls and our collective commitment to deliver greater gender equality in education, in our workplaces and in the broader community.
While we will take time to celebrate the courage and determination of women who have changed history, IEU members will also strive to find ways to unite and mobilise for the urgent changes still needed if our community is to fully #EmbraceEquity.
An important year of reform and greater legal rights for women
The last 12 months have seen long-overdue changes to better support women and workplace equality. The federal Labor government, comprising a record number of women in cabinet and on the front bench, has delivered a number of key outcomes:
- Paid family and domestic violence leave for all Australian workers
- Improved access to flexible work arrangements to help workers struggling with caring duties
- New laws to promote workplace gender equality and equal remuneration in all industries
- The Respect@Work reforms that established new rights and protections to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination
IEU members and activists continue to drive real change in their workplaces – winning improved wages and conditions in our female dominated industry, more secure jobs and safer workplaces.
The IEU will continue to be the voice of women leadership and change
We have made progress, but significant challenges remain.
The gender pay gap is a national disgrace – on average women earn $26,000 less per year. Women will retire with 24% less super in retirement.
Female dominated industries, such as aged care and early childhood education, have been left behind. New fairer bargaining laws now provide opportunities to deliver for these workers. It will be union members, female leaders and activists who will make this happen.
One in six Australian women have experienced sexual violence. A woman is murdered every week by a partner or ex-partner. Men must speak out, protect and act if they witness gendered violence.
Our union will continue to campaign and fight for our community to fully #EmbraceEquity.