This event sought to bring unions, NGOs, academics and others together not only to highlight the damaging social effects that insecure work causes but more importantly to start to develop some solutions. See Ged Kearney, president of the ACTU’s speech here.
Veronica Sheen from Monash University and member of the FDW steering group highlighted the importance of secure work as a gender equality indicator. She argues:
Employment security needs to become a core Gender Equality Indicator and subject to the sort of recurrent inspection and accountability as the gender pay gap. Indicators make explicit where there are deficits in outcomes for socially agreed objectives and serve as a basis for advocacy and improved policy. Employment security as a Gender Equality Indicator could also lend its weight in achieving the recommendations of the Independent Inquiry, and more broadly a range of public policies across employment and social welfare, which would benefit everyone. See the paper by Veronica Sheen for more.
Panelists included Jill Biddington, Panel member of the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work; Michelle O’Neil, National Secretary TCFUA; Dr Dina Bowman, Brotherhood of St Laurence (and FDW steering group member); Kara Keys, ACTU Indigenous Officer.
The summit was a good opportunity to highlight the issues that affect women (and men) – including the need for social infrastructure such as child care; access to affordable housing; safe and affordable transport; and adequate income support that recognizes the changed nature of work and families – as well as decent jobs.
The FDW steering group will be meeting in Melbourne later this month to discuss next steps.