Thursday, March 08, 2007

Happy International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day, so I would like to wish all the women in my life and the women who read this blog Happy International Women's Day!

This is post is a bit later in the day than I'd hoped, so I hope you've had a lovely day and had the chance to do something to mark it.

I was planning to write a post about how things aren't getting better for working women, or unemployed women, or women who stay at home. I was going to point to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission's (HREOC's) recent concerns at how women's pay has actually dropped compared to men's:
average full time working woman currently earns 83.6 cents in the male dollar compared with 85 cents in February 2005.
And heartily agree with them that:
This pay inequality also limits choices for men to undertake a greater role in the home because families cannot afford to lose the larger part of a double income.

To create real choices for men and women we need to put more effort into progressing pay equity. We need to make it easier for families to manage their paid work and family responsibilities.
And I would have argued cogently that we all need to do something about this deplorable situation. But, the Deputy Opposition Leader Julia Gillard beat me to it!

So, I'm offering up this modest suggestion: if you're a bloke, I would urge you to do something nice for the women in your life today, and the rest of the week. No. Actually, make that something helpful. Like do the dishes today. And cook dinner, make the tea and put the kids to bed (if you have them), or failing that, read to them.

I'm sure that many of you already do all these things and more, and may think that such suggestions are a bit naff in dealing with the underlying disadvantage that exists. But considering the significance of what the HREOC is calling a "shared work - valued care" approach to striking the balance between work and family, then perhaps it's a great start.

And it may just help make some woman's day.

[The image is by jeangenie (cc), who is a Brisbane based flickr member]

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