Some perspective on how out of touch this bloke is
David Campese recently gave us a nice insight into what he thinks about the role of women when he publically questioned why a female journalist would be covering a rugby union tour.
What could a “girl” possibly bring to the table in such a role? What would she know about rugby union - a man’s sport?
Surely to say that a woman can accurately grasp the concept of scrums and line-outs is almost as ridiculous as suggesting that women’s rugby is a real sport.
One can only assume that Campo would prefer this highly experienced, highly respected, journalist was doing something more fitting of a woman, like covering fashion for her paper or better yet, doing a true women’s job, like working as a community sector worker or something of that nature.
Thankfully, as the instant outpouring of anger from men and women across the country as a result of his comment has shown us, not many people think like Campo anymore.
The vast majority of Australians know the days of women being undervalued in the workplace are on the way out. Women shouldn’t be limited to what jobs they can do or paid less than men.
People recognise that for far too long jobs in sectors such as the community and social sector have been seen as ‘woman’s work’ – and paid poorly as a result.
But thankfully, a big step towards rectifying that takes place today.
Today marks the first day the historic equal pay increases will be awarded to the 150,000 community sector workers around the country.
The community sector is a largely female dominated and for some antiquated reason that’s been seen as an excuse to pay workers in the sector a pittance.
Women earn on average 18 per cent less than men – and it is the undervaluing of female dominated sectors such as the social and community services sector that has held back improvements to this pay gap.
Today’s equal pay increases are a vital step towards bridging that gap.
Earlier this year, the Federal Government announced that it was going to fund its share of equal pay rises for workers in the social and community services sector and then one by one – some more slowly and hesitantly than others – the states have come on board and committed to funding their share. Today that money will be landing in the accounts of those deserving workers.
It’s an historic decision and one that has been a long time coming. And it was only made possible because of the Fair Work Act which has changed the law on equal pay in this country.
Community sector workers play a vital role in our community. They work with the most vulnerable in our society, supporting people with disabilities, assisting families in crisis and providing our homeless with shelter.
They’re fundamental to our social fabric, but those working in the community sector earn about 30 per cent less than those doing comparable work in other sectors – until today.
The pay increases, which range from 23-45 per cent, are also crucial in helping retain people in the sector. Low retention rates in the social and community services sector is a notorious issue and a direct result of the sector’s low pay.
But today is not just about underpaid workers being paid what they deserve - it’s about equal pay. It’s about valuing women and valuing the work of the social and community services sector.
Australians should be proud of the decision to finally right this wrong and give workers equal pay.
Not many people could goose-step like David Campese, and thankfully not many people think like him anymore either.
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