International Women’s Day is coming around again.
International Women’s Day is a day when women and their supporters celebrate the gains that have been made is seeking gender equity in all spheres of life.
And it is also time to identify the obstacles that remain in the path of women’s achieving that goal.
For the union movement, it is a time to renew its commitment to ensuring that women are supported and appropriately rewarded in their working lives.
That means, for a start, ensuring real wage equality. Today in Australia the gender wage gap is over 18% and rising. That reflects in large part the low value put on many jobs performed by women, as well as the difficulties women face in moving into senior roles at their workplaces.
It still falls mostly to women to struggle with balancing work and family responsibilities, particularly the care of the young and the aged. Women also continue to experience sexist discrimination and harassment at work.
And it is women who are overwhelmingly the victims of domestic violence, which is gradually starting to be acknowledged as a workplace issue.
Rallies and other activities to mark International Women’s Day will be held around Australia on Sunday 8 March. Check with your state Trades and Labour Council for union-organised or union-sponsored events.