Widening gender pay gap during COVID calls for a stronger focus on the issue by government


Jo Clay MLA, ACT Greens spokesperson for Women, has been calling for a focus on the gender impact of government decisions, particularly budget priorities. 

She noted that “The ABS released their latest data on the gender pay gap today. This shows that the gender pay gap in the ACT was trending down and got to its lowest gap at 8.6% in November 2020 during COVID. But it is now widening and is back to pre-COVID levels at 14.5%. We are moving in the wrong direction.”

In response to concerns about the gender pay gap, Jo Clay MLA, ACT Greens spokesperson for Women, asked the Minister for Women, Yvette Berry MLA, about gender lens budgeting today in ACT Budget Estimates. 

“I again asked whether we have made any measurable difference for women with our gender lens budgeting and whether we are measuring progress, such as by decreasing the gender pay gap? I was told there is no tangible way to measure this.”

“There is a measurable way. The ABS measures it and we are going in the wrong direction.”

“The ACT Greens have been calling for an effective measurement of gender outcomes through the budget process for years. A gender lens on all of our policy, program and budget decisions will make sure we are spending our time and money in the right way so that our choices support women. This is particularly important during COVID and our COVID recovery as Government money, ACT and Federal, is used to stimulate the economy and we need to do this fairly.”

“I will continue to advocate for a gender lens to our budget decisions and to measure how these efforts are impacting women so we can know if it is working.”

Graph based on ABS data released 23 August 2022

Graph based on ABS data released 23 August 2022