Women are still making the sacrifices to look after the family: new data
The inaugural Australian Early Learning Monitor has revealed the significant impact on gender equality from the failure to provide universally accessible, high quality, accessible early learning in Australia.
The Essential Research poll, commissioned by the Minderoo Foundation, has revealed that three in five women are still struggling to maintain their career goals and women are considerably behind men in achieving their family goals due to a lack of early learning and childcare reform.
Georgie Dent, Executive Director of the Parenthood, said these figures were really concerning and stressed the importance of working towards gender equality through childcare reform.
“15 years ago, Australia ranked 15th in the world for tackling gender inequality but we’ve gone backwards. We now rank 50th. We need to prioritise women, just as much as anyone else,” she said.
“Almost 100,000 parents are kept out of the workforce and mothers are more likely to reduce work time to part-time than fathers (37 per cent against five per cent) to buffer the family from rising childcare costs. Affordable childcare is the key to unlocking options for women. It’s time for change.”
Additionally, nearly two-thirds of men who live with their partner say their partner has made sacrifices in their career to look after the family compared to only a third of women in the same situation. Two in five men also say their career or family sacrifices wouldn’t have been as big, if they had access to universal high-quality early childhood education and care.
“This is an issue that clearly unites genders – around three-quarters of Australians support a universal early learning system. The Federal Government needs to give Australians the national reform they are calling for. We can’t pride ourselves on our huge gender gaps.
“We encourage all State and Territory leaders to come together and push this key reform at National Cabinet.”