Labor’s acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison is encouraging women and men to stand up and walk out this afternoon to support the push for wage equality.

At 3.50pm employees will leave workplaces across central Sydney for a rally at the Martin Place Amphitheatre to protest the lack of progress in closing the pay gap for women.

The time is symbolic because it represents the 70 minutes or so a day that women work for free when compared to men.

It’s estimated that women would have to work 14 months to earn the same on average as men or another 62 earning days to achieve annual pay parity.

These archaic pay arrangements still exist despite women’s hard fought battle to acknowledge their need for paid parenting leave, carers and parental leave and, in some more recent cases, paid domestic violence leave.

A just society can’t continue to ignore the fact that generations of women have never actually received their share of a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

Men should show solidarity for the women in their lives including mothers, sisters, friends and neighbours who are more likely to retire with less money and if they’re single face a higher probability of homelessness.

Workers across NSW who want to participate can stand up and walk out at 3.50pm then take a photo and post it on social media with the hashtag #walkoutoz.

Quotes attributable to Acting Shadow Minister for Women Jenny Aitchison

“Figures from the Australian Gender Equality Council show the stark reality of the two tier wages system that disadvantages women. It’s about more than weekly or fortnight pay - there’s the lifetime penalty of earning up to 23% per cent less than men and then retiring with 42 per cent less superannuation.

“Women lose out no matter which part of the lifecycle you look at. We are more educated graduating from tertiary studies at higher rates yet are on lower starting salaries. Then we have single women over 55 being the fastest growing demographic of our homeless. Women are long overdue for wage equality.”

#genderequity #genderpaygap #wageequality