Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by The Conversation
imageBill Shorten wants addressing the gender gap "to be a cause that all of us share".AAP/Lukas Coch

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has moved to make the gender gap an issue for the ALP’s July national conference and for Labor more widely.

Addressing the party faithful at the Gough Whitlam tribute dinner in Melbourne, Shorten recalled Whitlam’s commitment to making the ALP more equal for women. Shorten said he was committed to affirmative action and “I want this to be a cause that all of us share”.

Labor’s current affirmative action rules had been adopted in 1994, he said. “I think it is time for national conference to consider: are we doing enough to encourage Australian women to participate in all levels of politics?”

This responsibility reached beyond the party, Shorten said.

“We must close the gender gap: in pay and in superannuation, in leadership and in opportunity.

“Helping working women balance their family responsibilities and their career, by supporting paid parental leave and supporting better childcare. Not demonising new mothers as ‘double dippers’, or lowering a new glass ceiling into every workplace by attacking pay and conditions.”

Boosting the number of women in work by 25% in the next ten years would represent 300,000 new jobs in the economy.

“And the equal treatment of women demands we accept nothing less than the complete elimination of family violence from our national life,” he said.

On the issue of reforming the Labor party, Shorten trod a fine line between saying he was committed to change but warning that it required time and compromise on all sides. The national conference provided a historic chance to rebuild the party but “everyone, on every side, will have to give some ground”, he said. “Changing our rules and structures is a slow and complex exercise.”

Shorten said Labor’s membership was higher than since the early 1990s, but he wanted it to be even higher and more diverse.

In 2010 federal Labor had an online network of 30,000, almost all of them party members, and they contributed $70,000 to the election campaign that year. By 2013, the network was 250,000, and contributed $1 million - the single biggest contribution to Labor’s campaign. Today its network numbered 450,000. “I want more of these contributors to join us as members,” Shorten said.

“I believe Labor should encourage more union members to join the party directly,” he said. At the same time “it should no longer be compulsory for Labor members to be a member of a union”.

The ALP could “make it plain that modern Labor is not the political arm of anything but the Australian people”.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

Authors: The Conversation

Read more http://theconversation.com/shorten-puts-the-gender-gap-on-labor-conferences-agenda-43022

Writers Wanted

'What I had to say mattered' — how can we provide justice for sexual assault victims beyond criminal trials?


'WTF?': newly discovered ghostly circles in the sky can't be explained by current theories, and astronomers are excited


The Conversation


Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Kieran Gilbert, Sky News

KIERAN GILBERT: Kieran Gilbert here with you and the Prime Minister joins me. Prime Minister, thanks so much for your time.  PRIME MINISTER: G'day Kieran.  GILBERT: An assumption a vaccine is ...

Daily Bulletin - avatar Daily Bulletin

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Business News

Nisbets’ Collab with The Lobby is Showing the Sexy Side of Hospitality Supply

Hospitality supply services might not immediately make you think ‘sexy’. But when a barkeep in a moodily lit bar holds up the perfectly formed juniper gin balloon or catches the light in the edg...

The Atticism - avatar The Atticism

Buy Instagram Followers And Likes Now

Do you like to buy followers on Instagram? Just give a simple Google search on the internet, and there will be an abounding of seeking outcomes full of businesses offering such services. But, th...

News Co - avatar News Co

Cybersecurity data means nothing to business leaders without context

Top business leaders are starting to realise the widespread impact a cyberattack can have on a business. Unfortunately, according to a study by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Tenable, some...

Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable - avatar Scott McKinnel, ANZ Country Manager, Tenable

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion