Pledge to do more on gender pay gap
MORE needs to be done to close the gender pay gap, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese say, as International Women's Day approaches.
While the prime minister lauded a historically low pay gap, he says "we've got a lot more work to do" he told a breakfast event ahead of the official international day on March 8.
Mr Morrison said economies are more productive and enlightened when more women participate in the workforce.
He said when his brother was a child, he was confused to hear their newly-employed mum say she'd now earn men's wages.
"This was a long time ago. The idea that men and women got paid differently, as a young boy, he didn't understand it," Mr Morrison said on Thursday.
Mr Albanese said on average women earned $240 less than men, with women occupying more of the country's lower paid jobs.
He pointed to his predecessor in his seat of Grayndler, Jeannette McHugh, who was the first NSW woman to sit in federal parliament and the federal ministry.
"83 years, every seat, every election, every time was a man. Now there's nothing unusual," Mr Albanese said.
"An equal society is a fairer society ... where we maximise the capacity of the whole of society."
The head of the United Nations women's advocacy group in Australia says the federal government has the power to help women locally and abroad.
UN Women Australia president Debra Eckersley told politicians they could help determine women's futures at the national and global level.
"As our elected representatives, as our leaders, you have the power to make policy, to allocate resources," Ms Eckersley said.
In December, Australia failed to make the top 40 in global rankings for gender equality, ranking 44 out of 153, according to a World Economic Forum report.
Broken down by categories, the lack of women in politics saw Australia ranked at 57.