Acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison is calling on the Premier to dump her Minister for Women after the release of an underwhelming NSW Women’s Strategy that doesn’t even mention issues of sexual harassment and the gender pay gap.

The Strategy foreshadowed in the 2017 State Budget has finally been delivered today more than 13 months after the Minister concluded public consultation on the plan, and nearly nine months after it was due to be released. The strategy is light on targets with a number still to be determined.

The first tranche of benchmarks to be achieved by June next year are modest: from maintaining a 50 per cent gender target across NSW Government screen development and funding programs to developing a new grants program for next year’s International Women’s Day events.

The Berejiklian-Barilaro Government wants to double the number of women tradespeople working on major public infrastructure by 2023. A similar project implemented by the Liberal-National government just a few years ago failed to achieve any outcomes. In a move that shows the Government is not keen to follow its own lead on this issue, it has set 2025 as its target to have 50 per cent of women in senior leadership roles in the State public service.

Described as a whole-of-government and whole-of-community policy framework the strategy lacks detail on how the private sector will be engaged to address the gender pay gap, flexible employment arrangements and help women improve their long-term financial security.

The Women’s Strategy is late, light on targets and incomplete in parts - it should be the last straw for the Premier who now needs to act and put a Minister in the portfolio who is focussed on the advancement of women.

Labor’s Acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison today attended a roundtable with lawyers, women’s groups and unions about ending sexual harassment. The group has called for a number of important changes to prevent and develop legislation to stop sexual harassment at work.

Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow for Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison

“The Liberals and Nationals say they want to double the number of women tradies on government projects within five years but can’t encourage women to stand for their own parties.

“Premier Berejiklian has to call time on her Minister for Women and find an advocate for women. After more than a year of preparation Minister Davies’ strategy and first year action plan totalling 48 pages is more style over substance.

“After waiting 13 months, women and girls in New South Wales should have a strategy with positive signs for gender equality. Instead they’ve got an Action Plan for this year that doesn’t have definite targets in some cases.”

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