Yesterday was an important day for women.
An important day for our community.
An important day for equality.
In Australia, we know that women are earning less than men. In fact, they are earning one fifth less than men, which is about a $1 million penalty over a lifetime simply for being born a woman.
This just isn’t good enough.
Some of this pay disparity is because a higher proportion of women work in caring jobs – and historically, doing this work has paid less. It has been undervalued.
When you think about the people who work hard to support our community – working with people with disabilities, counselling families in crisis, running homeless shelters, supporting survivors of domestic violence – it seems ridiculous that these people are paid comparatively so little.
Anyone who has needed our community sector workers (or whose friends or family have needed support) will tell you that you can’t put a price on the work that the community sector does.
It is hard work. It is emotional work. And it is the kind of work that changes people’s lives, supports them through crisis and sorrow, and lifts them up to live happier and healthier lives.
They are the people who make a difference in our community.
And they have been forgotten. That is, until yesterday.
We cannot do a lot to make the work that these people do any easier. But we can make sure that we value it properly.