Federation Chamber Statement – Raise Our Voice Campaign





Subjects: Raise Our Voice Campaign

PETER KHALIL, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR WILLS: I’m going to share a very important speech with the House today. It was written by Freda Dowsey as part of the Raise Our Voice campaign. Thank you, Frida, upfront, for your thoughtful, well-argued speech. I hope I can do it justice. Here goes:

‘Hello. I am Freda Dowsey. I’m 15 years old and a member of the electorate of Wills. The Australian wage gap between women and men must be closed. Women earn on average $261.50 per week less than men. This not only has a detrimental effect on women who are financially struggling but also means young girls grow up with the fact that women are worth less than men cemented in their minds. The Australian parliament can help fix this pressing issue. There are many things the parliament can do to end this cycle of sexism through wage discrepancies. Changing company policies to force groups to pay women equal amounts to men with the same role, mandating companies to publish their wages to promote equality and creating female employee quotas in male dominated fields are all things the Australian government is capable of. Doing this would pave the way and create much-needed representation for the women of tomorrow.’

Freda, I agree wholeheartedly. This is a fantastic speech. Our government is taking action on the gender pay gap, requiring companies with more than 250 employees to report their gender pay gap publicly; prohibiting pay secrecy clauses and giving employees the right to disclose their pay if they want to; addressing the gender pay gap, particularly in the Australian Public Service; and strengthening the ability and capacity of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in low-paid female dominated industries. Thank you again for your speech, Freda.