Uniting for a gender-equal recovery
Women in senior leadership positions across the UCA and its agencies are urging the Federal Government to prioritise measures that support women in the 2020 Budget.
Eighteen executives and other leaders have signed an open letter calling for Budget measures to give women the best chance to recover and to flourish through the current health and economic crisis.
The signatories including UCA President Dr Deidre Palmer note that women have been among the hardest hit by recent events.
“At home, women have taken on the heavy lifting, juggling increased responsibilities with working remotely,” write the signatories.
“Many women – including many parents – have suffered reduced hours and even lost their jobs.”
“We know this from our connections in our church networks and from personal experience.”
The senior leaders also raised concerns about the erosion of women’s superannuation funds, the increased risk of domestic and family violence, and the effects on women and girls in Australia’s neighbours, where COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and poverty for those most vulnerable.
The Federal Government has so far flagged a boost for infrastructure and the mining and energy sectors – industries that are dominated by male employment.
“In the Uniting Church, we believe that women and men are equally created in the image of God and we value the gifts and leadership of women across our Church and in the wider community,” said Dr Palmer.
“The current crisis is an opportunity to refocus the national vision on a building back as a gender-equal society.”
The Uniting women leaders have made specific recommendations on spending priorities.
In particular, more investment in the care economy, investment in childcare and early childhood education, increases to family payments, and greater investment in domestic and family violence support programs.
They are also seeking increased financial support to unpaid carers at home, personal tax cuts that are gender neutral, and more overseas development funding that supports women and girls.
“Australia can and should be a world leader in gender-equality,” said Dr Palmer. “When we support and empower women, everyone wins.”