International Women's Day 2017 - getting more women into work

Release Date: 
8 March 2017
Media release

With today marking International Women’s Day, the Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash has announced the expansion of a successful employment partnership between the Turnbull Government and UnitingCare Australia.

“The Turnbull Government is proud to have developed an effective partnership with UnitingCare to deliver meaningful pre-employment training to women looking to engage in the workforce,” Minister Cash said.

Over the past year, 31 women have participated in three pilot projects in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland with each pilot project achieving close to a 100 per cent completion rate.

“For many of these women, being out of work had impacted on their confidence, however the transformation as a result of these pilot programs has been remarkable,” Minister Cash said.

“I am delighted this successful partnership is going to be extended so that pre-employment training for women in New South Wales and the ACT can commence.”

Due to the success of this partnership, the Coalition Government has committed $10 million over the next three years to the new ‘Launch into Work’ program, due to commence later this year.

“This program is designed to create new partnerships with not-for-profits and businesses which are ready to invest in Australian women,” Minister Cash said.

“Today’s announcement reinforces the Coalition Government’s commitment to empower women to engage in the workforce to further drive equality, respect and women’s financial security.”

“Empowering women keeps communities strong and the economy resilient, which is why boosting women’s workforce participation is a key priority of the Coalition Government.”

Minister Cash said she was pleased that the most recent figures show women’s employment in Australia is at a record high of 5.6 million.

“While improvements in workforce participation and a recent narrowing of the gender pay gap are welcome, the Turnbull Government continues to implement policies to deliver even greater employment outcomes.”

“We are progressing innovative and practical policies such as ‘Launch into Work’ as well as fundamental reforms and increased investment in our child care system. This is all designed to assist women enter, return to or remain in work.”

The Commonwealth Government’s increased investment in child care and early learning means families will be able to access child care to enhance their employment opportunities, rather than limit their work hours to suit their childcare.

“Our changes mean a family earning $65,000 or less will have 85 per cent of their costs refunded and so will only pay around $15 a day. We will abolish the $7,500 cap for families earning less than $185,000 and introduce an hourly rate cap, to curb fee increases,” Minister Cash said.

“This additional child care investment will benefit around one million families and is targeted towards those working the longest hours, but earning the least.”

Addressing domestic violence has been at the forefront of the Coalition’s agenda since being elected in 2013. Significant and lasting momentum has been built around this issue to ensure women and children are safe from violence.

“We are tackling a key issue when it comes to domestic violence - a lack of respect. Our $30 million national “Stop it at the Start” campaign has been a great success, with more than 37 million online views of the TV commercials,” Minister Cash said.

“Our $100 million Women’s Safety package and the additional $100 million investment under the Third Action Plan is protecting women and children through expanded front line services and the delivery of new prevention strategies to drive cultural change.”

“This International Women’s Day we should all reflect on how we can create a society in which women are respected, represented, have a strong voice, are financially secure, and are safe from violence.”