Axe the Woman Tax: Getting to a Federal Budget that works for women


By now the Federal Budget is over two weeks old and you may feel you’ve heard way too much already. But you definitely know less than you should about how it will differently impact women and men, in Australia and in developing countries. And that’s a problem.

Budgets are important. They allocate the taxes we pay to specific purposes, such as health, education, roads, security, climate change or pensions. What is spent where tells us about priorities. The Government says gender equality matters. But currently the Budget doesn’t show how the billions it spends help to achieve this.

Women do less well than men in many areas of life, in Australia and globally. In Australia, women earn on average 18.2% less than men do. The global average is 24% less, and 50% less in total lifetime earnings. Many more women die each year at the hands of a current or former partner than men. Yet investment in improving the financial and physical security of women around the nation is a tiny fraction of what is needed to keep us safe and secure.

Once, Australia was a global leader with its detailed Women’s Budget Statement. Then government stopped requiring each department to analyse and cost how policies and programs impact women and men. Moving backwards is no way to go forward. Re-establishing a way of tracking how the Budget impacts women and men differently is a first step towards getting a Federal Budget that works for women.

The Federal Budget cuts threaten the work of IWDA. Please donate to The Woman Tax appeal to support women’s rights in Asia Pacific.