Michael Daley and Labor will set a target of 50 per cent of new appointments to government boards and committees to be women as part of a raft of policies to help women in the workplace.

Labor also announced an innovative health screening and outreach program to improve early detection of breast cancer, heart disease and other serious health conditions in Women’s Health Centres.

The two measures form part of a comprehensive plan launched today by Mr Daley, on International Women’s Day. Mr Daley was joined at the launch by the Shadow Minister for Women, Sophie Cotsis, and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jenny Aitchison who has been acting in the role as Shadow Minister for Women; both women have recently suffered the effects of breast cancer.

Labor’s Support for Women package will also set a target of 50 per cent of the state’s public sector workforce to be women by 2024.

The targets form part of a bold plan to promote gender equity, and include moving the Office for Women into the Premier’s Department, establishing a Premier’s Council for Women to advise government and publishing an annual Women’s Budget Statement to report back on progress.

Mr Daley said: “The Labor Party has led the way on women’s rights and we will continue to do more to make sure women are supported every step of the way in society.

“Whether it’s early detection of breast cancer, making sure women are treated fairly in the workforce, ensuring equitable funding for women’s sport, providing educational opportunities or helping victims-survivors of violence, Labor will be there for women.”

New money announced in the package includes:

  • $7 million to trial health screening and outreach in four Women’s Health Centres;

  • $625,000 for the Women’s Family Law Court Support Service;

  • $500,000 for volunteer women’s groups;

  • $500,000 for new mentoring and networking opportunities for women in business;

  • Amending anti-discrimination laws to protect women at work and ensure employers reasonably accommodate flexible working arrangements; and

  • Allowing pharmacists to provide emergency prescriptions for urinary tract infection medications when doctors’ surgeries are closed;

This is in addition to recently released packages across a variety of portfolios that have a positive benefit on the participation of women, including:

  • $158 million to end domestic, family and sexual violence;

  • $15 million to improve netball facilities in Sydney and Regional NSW;

  • $4 million for school based development programs for Aboriginal Girls;

  • $1 million for gymnastics clubs across NSW;

  • Improved access to early childhood education for three and four year olds;

  • Free TAFE places;

  • Introducing Nurse and Midwife to Patient Ratios; and

  • World Heritage Listing for the Parramatta Female Factory historic precinct, the oldest surviving women’s site in Australia.

Labor has a strong record in the representation of women in Parliament; 37 per cent of MPs in the State Parliament are female and 48 per cent of candidates for the forthcoming election are women.

Ms Aitchison said: “Labor believes that women should always be represented at the decision making table – in board rooms, in Parliament, in workplaces, on the sports field and in communities.

“Labor’s plan to support women covers the breadth of women’s everyday lives in health, education, employment, small business, the arts, heritage, sports, government and in the community. We will work to ensure women are safe from domestic, family and sexual violence.”

Ms Cotsis said: “Only Labor can truly deliver equality for women, because only Labor has a plan to ensure they are represented equally in our decision making and leadership positions, and that all Government agencies are accountable for delivering for women.”

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