Two weeks out from a delayed State Budget, GEN VIC releases its 2020/2021 Pre-Budget Statement once again calling for the Victorian Government to build back better for a gender equal recovery from COVID19.
“This week, we have seen promising signs that a recovery in Victoria will be focussed on projects and stimulus designed to support all people, especially women. The announcement of free childcare and increased investment in afterhours care and recovery workforces is a critical step towards a gender equal recovery in Victoria. But it’s just the start of initiatives that will be needed to overcome the gendered impacts of the virus,” said Tanja Kovac, CEO of GEN VIC.
The COVID19 pandemic has impacted men and women differently. In Australia, more women have been infected by the virus than men and now more women have also died from it. Women have also shouldered the economic impact, so much so that the pandemic economic downturn is being called a she-cession.
“Government has a fundamental role to play in rebuilding the economy, especially after disaster. Job creation stimulus, investment in public infrastructure building and the growth of public sector workforces are important strategies for delivering gender equality. The spending choices of governments after a catastrophic event determine the opportunities for individuals, families, communities and the entire State” said Ms Kovac.
“Before COVID hit Australia, the investment in gender equity was extremely modest, sitting at 0.007% of the total State Budget. We asked for this historic underinvestment to be corrected in the 2020/2021 state budget. The pandemic has made this request more urgent.”
“We don’t want a two-lane recovery, where men are on a fast track of job stimulus and infrastructure spending, while women are in an economic slow lane to nowhere. Our members are coming up with solutions in job creation, recovery projects and disaster prevention and preparedness. There is so much work to do to keep the community safe, strong and equal it will require investment over several budget cycles.”
See the Why Victoria needs a Gender Equal Recovery – 20/21 Pre-Budget Statement for more detail on GEN VIC’s budget asks and priorities for the next Victorian Government budget.