The Long View
The Long View
May 28, 2020
Episode 7 - Women and Work
Play • 47 min
This week on The Long View, Clare is joined by Ged Kearney, a nurse, former President of the ACTU and now Federal Labor MP for Cooper, and Sara Charlesworth, Professor at RMIT and Director of the Centre for People, Organisation and Work, to discuss some of the challenges faced by women in the workforce, and the ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has brought them to the fore.

For many Australians the experience they have during the COVID-19 crisis will depend greatly on whether they are male or female.

Women are more likely to be on the frontline, in health or caring roles. They’re more likely to have lost work since the crisis began, and are more likely to fall short of being eligible for JobKeeper. They're more likely to be doing the lion’s share of the additional domestic work at home, and they’re more likely to be in a situation of domestic violence.

These disproportionate impacts tell us something important about the country that we live in. Men and women perform different roles in Australian society. Is that the society we want to live in? When work such as aged care and early learning are so crucial to the functioning of our community, why are these workers so poorly paid? And in a modern, forward-thinking country like Australia, why does so much of the domestic burden fall on women’s shoulders?

COVID-19 has caused some of these longstanding problems to become amplified, but has it also given us the opportunity to look at them with fresh eyes and change some of these dynamics?

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