This is the fourth in a five-part series where we recap the Morrison government’s decisions for working women and their alarming consequences.
We have yet to see anything from Morrison to indicate he does indeed live in the 21st century.
Although gender equality has advanced in the past hundred years, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said change has now stalled.
“A lot of people like to tell us we’ve come a long way and we’re almost near equality,” Ms McManus said at this year’s International Women’s Day march in Melbourne.
“They like to tell us that quite often and you wonder what time frame they’re talking about,” she said.
What it means to be a woman has evolved through the decades, far beyond where conservative governments have decided to sit.
Morrison talks as if women were still newcomers to the Australian workforce, let alone acknowledge how the category of ‘woman’ has expanded.
Joining the stage with Ms McManus on International Women’s Day was founder of Transgender Victoria and ASU member Sally Goldner AM.
Ms Goldner highlighted how instead of embracing progression on gender in the workplace, the Morrison Government had instead thrown the trans community under the bus.
She said trans people had been used as “a bloody wedge tactic” during the recent (and ultimately unsuccessful) Liberal push to pass the Religious Discrimination Bill earlier this year.
As Ms Goldner noted, the Bill would’ve “wiped out rights for so many people” because it would have allowed people to make discriminatory ‘statements of belief’.
People would have been protected in making such statements even if they were sexist, harmful or hostile. Workplaces would’ve become even more unsafe for women, queer folk and people with disability.
Morrison has also failed to address existing unfair religious exemptions which allow discrimination against students, teachers and others who identify as LGBTQIA+.
Unions continue to campaign against these exemptions because we believe workers should be free to be who they are at work and not apologise for their own existence.
Union members work together to strengthen the links and overlaps between groups so we can progress our workplaces as a unified force.
No worker should have to fear discrimination at their place of work because of their gender identity.
Inclusive, respectful and diverse, Australian union members support each other to move forward with purpose and confidence.