Equal Pay

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. 

Didn't exactly score many tries with women this past week

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.

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  • Ben says:

    06:37pm | 03/12/12

    Does anyone recall a rather angry journalist and occasional Punch columnist Tracey Spicer saying that men should not be allowed to comment on the following issue? http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/midwife-tells-pregnant-women-to-take-the-pain/story-e6frfkp9-1225749575022 Read more »

  • Peter says:

    06:21pm | 03/12/12

    You would hope its not representative, but I could see why, just from the one reply you’ve received so far, you could have cause to despair. Its hard to know if the name or the reply gives the least hope for humankind. Read more »


The sex wars which erupted in federal parliament last week are only the tip of the iceberg of a deep vein of discontent in society about the difficulties facing both women and men as they juggle work and family.

Little did they realise the feminist revolution would come and go and there would still  be huge inequalities

In an extraordinary 15 minute speech last Tuesday, Australia’s first female Prime Minister gave voice to the silent rage of generations of Australian women.

The rage of grandmothers who wonder, if not for society’s undervaluing of their abilities, if could they have been chief financial officer of a major company instead of running the books of the family business.

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  • Nat says:

    06:45pm | 15/10/12

    “I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.” ? Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice Read more »

  • Austin 3:16 says:

    06:18pm | 15/10/12

    Hey Ando, ” At present girls and boys dont have equal interest in driving Trucks” That would show up in the gender balance of the number of applicants for the position.  But may not show in gender balance of the numbers hired. That’s the problem with common sense, it’s not… Read more »


So the Australian Industry Group’s Heather Ridout says yesterday’s historic equal pay decision by Fair Work Australia is “dangerous”, because it “will lead to a raft of union claims in other industries”. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls it “disturbing”.

Don't be afraid of pay equity.

Goodness, not another ‘dangerous precedent’. Dangerous precedents have peppered history – like votes for women, the American Civil Rights and the Mabo decision on native title.

Maybe AIG and ACCI have been catching up on some episodes of ‘Yes, Minister’, which defined a dangerous precedent for us: “if we do the right thing now, then we might be forced to the right thing again next time. And on that reasoning nothing should ever be done at all.” But this time something – the right thing - has been done.

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  • Erick says:

    10:47am | 03/02/12

    @badrinath - I don’t object to giving pay rises to people who deserve higher pay because of the work they do. That is fair and reasonable. I do object to the idea that some people should get pay rises simply because they are women (or men, for that matter). That’s… Read more »

  • badrinath says:

    10:34am | 03/02/12

    yep jf, from what i read it is really all about you. Read more »


The tired old chestnut of equal pay gets trotted out every time there are new job figures or the latest batch of income statistics are released.

An old chestnut. OK, not so old. Yes, we know this was a stretch. Pic: David Caird

“It’s a deplorable situation,’’ comes the plaintive cry. “Women still only earn X per cent of men’s wages.”

Don’t get me wrong, that would be deplorable - if it were true. But sadly it’s much more a case of creative mathematics than a widespread mysogynistic conspiracy.

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  • Saddened that people like you exist says:

    03:25pm | 05/11/12

    For someone literate, you muster surprisingly few cogent arguments.  It’s amazing how you entirely ignore the social, familial and historical factors that influence why it is women are the ones who, more often than not, are the parents to stay at home.  And yes, women do choose to have babies… Read more »

  • blogster says:

    05:37pm | 21/12/11

    Ann I’d love to see the actual paramaters and specific inputs and assumptions used for that study (never mind the fact its only 4,000 people and all conducted by feminist academics). In addition, your assertion that ” the entire economy rests on the unpaid labour of mothers, carers and volunteers,… Read more »


Sometimes we are so busy getting on with our lives we don’t notice history is being made before our eyes. That is precisely what is happening right now with equal pay.

I'll let you in on a little secret - the Mining Magnate award rate is actually quite good. Photo: Colin Murty

Forty years ago an Australian woman doing the same job as a man was not guaranteed the same pay. The law allowed employers to set two rates of pay, one for men and one for women,  the unspoken basis being a woman could not hope to be as efficient and productive as a man. Work was often seen as a temporary thing for women, before they became wives and mothers. Women in some jobs, like teaching and the public service, were required to resign once they got married.

No women had sat in Cabinet, on the High Court or served as Governor-General. Or, Heaven forbid, led the union movement.

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  • oem software online says:

    10:49am | 19/08/12

    A1QGwR I really liked your blog.Really thank you! Great. Read more »

  • Luke says:

    06:59pm | 01/06/11

    I just lost my barman job so a women could take it… sexism anyone? Read more »


It costs nearly $1 million dollars more to be born a woman in this country. While the average 25 year old male will earn $2.4 million over the next 40 years, the average 25 year old woman will earn only $1.5 million.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Of course there are a number of reasons for this gender pay gap. Women are more likely to work part time, take more time out of the workforce to undertake unpaid caring responsibilities and continue to bear a disproportionate share of the responsibility for unpaid household work.

Traditionally feminised jobs in the caring and community sectors have been historically undervalued and consequently, underpaid.

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  • whatever says:

    09:55pm | 28/11/10

    I don’t accept that it’s industry or because women work part time when woman graduates in the Financial Sector working full time get soooo much less wage than men with the same qualifications for the same work and there is no reason for it. It is almost enough to make… Read more »

  • MK says:

    04:36pm | 27/11/10

    “It’s as simple as this: if you had invented Facebook, you’d have invented Facebook” another way of putting it If you were doing work of Equal Value, you would be getting Equal Pay.* but this would only be true it the invilsible hand, that magically solves all problems in market… Read more »


When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them, then I bite my tongue. You see, I’m a community development worker.

A community development worker sweeping up after the riots in Redfern, Sydney, in 2004

In my outer-suburban neighbourhood centre I manage a host of programs for people who need support: grandparents who’ve taken custody of their grandkids in distressing circumstances, playgroups for toddlers with teenage mums, skills training for long-term unemployed, to name a few. 

You could put your last $5 on the response (and I am often down to my last fiver so maybe I should). “Oh, you must be an angel!” they say; and, “it must be great to have such a rewarding job.”

I bite my tongue, because expletives from a woman of my years might come as a shock.

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  • LowCostLinks.com says:

    09:19am | 05/07/10

    Buy forum backlinks at LowCostLinks.com today! Read more »

  • Front Row says:

    07:14pm | 16/03/10

    Has anybody mentioned the massive taxation benefits those in the “community sector” enjoy? Read more »


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