INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

On the 8th of March I had the opportunity to stand up in Parliament and wish Victoria a happy International Women’s Day.

Here is what I said:

Mr MELHEM (Western Metropolitan) — I also join in congratulating and wishing all women in the world and Victoria a happy International Women’s Day. The Andrews Labor government has made that one of the cornerstones of its policies and has made ending violence against women and children a priority. The government established the Royal Commission into Family Violence and adopted every one of its recommendations, committed to ending gender inequality through delivering on the founding reforms of the Victorian gender equality strategy and also invested an unprecedented half a billion dollars to prevent family violence.

Yet we still have a lot of work to do to achieve equality for women, whether that is in the workplace or whether that is gender equality across their life cycle. The economic case is also well made that gender equality is still a big problem, and equality in the workforce in terms of pay gap is still a major issue. Women still receive less pay than men for the same job, and that is something that we need to continue working on. We are lucky in Australia, we have made some headway, but, as Ms Patten said, there are places around the world where women are still treated as second‑class citizens, whether that is from a religious basis or from a cultural basis. I think we have a major job on our hands, as a Western society, to make sure we are continually improving the status of women in the world.

I want to congratulate the AFL for launching this year the AFL Women’s competition. One of the benefits of that is that my 15‑year‑old, who has never played sport, decided this year to take up sport and to play AFL. I think that is a credit to the AFL and its policies, and again I wish all women in Victoria a happy International Women’s Day.