10 signatures reached
To: Kelly o’Dwyer & Tanya Plibersek
Bring the issue of gender equality and economic disparity women experience,due to the biological urge to reproduce to the table. Let’s start having meaningful and realistic conversations about how women face economic disadvantage due to child rearing. Lets start with ensuring ALL women independently of their spouse are able to access financial support for their child’s first year of life.
Why is this important?
The economic disadvantage women face through child bearing and rearing is so engrained in our society that we accept it as the status quo. However Australia has one of the lowest number of paid maternity leave weeks ( and it is also conditional) . Instead of labelling this payment as “welfare” or “government handouts” let’s start a paradigm shift and look at it for what it really is; A redistribution of wealth for human capital, in support of women (and men) in a time of their lives when they need it most.
It seems a strange but accepted throw back to the 1960s that if you choose to raise your own children you become the economic responsibility of your significant other ( statistically speaking in a heterosexual relationship this is the man / husband).
This lack of financial independence is not only distressing and oppressive, it affects all areas of life including negatively impacting maternal mental health, increasing stress on the relationship ( during an already stressful time ) and ultimately can affect the health and well being of the entire family unit.
Lack of financial independence is also contributing factor to women experiencing domestic violence & their inability to escape their circumstances.
If we were able to provide women with a level of financial support during the first year of their child’s life, we would not only be supporting the woman and child but be investing in a healthier, fairer more just society. For what mothers add to society in terms of a loving, nurturing and peaceful upbringing has far more value and unseen ripple effect then any economic system could ever be able to accurately measure or quantify.