The Victorian Greens have called on the state government to fund the creation of more jobs for women to prevent a pink collar recession in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Recent ABS data has indicated that women have borne the brunt of COVID-19 job losses since March, with the number of Victorian women who are out of work now the highest on record.
In July alone, the rate of women losing their jobs was almost five times the rate for men and the second lockdown will likely have only accelerated this trend.
To combat this, the Greens have released their plan for a Victoria Cares job initiative, which would aim to create over 20,000 jobs in caring professions like education, health and social services.
Some of what Victoria Cares could help fund include:
- More jobs for nurses, psychiatrists, social workers and more to expand community mental health services
- The employment of more teachers, specialists and support staff for disadvantaged students
- Increased support services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to help them maintain tenancies
Spending on education, health and social services is a more effective way of creating jobs than infrastructure.
The Victoria Cares jobs initiative would be similar to the Working for Victoria Fund but dedicated solely to the caring economy and for longer-term, secure jobs at a range of levels.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens Member for Prahran, Sam Hibbins:
"The government’s economic stimulus must go beyond hard hats and construction sites.
"With women bearing the brunt of the economic crisis, we want to put creating jobs for women at the heart of our economic recovery.
"For too long jobs involving caring for people have been undervalued and underpaid, but in light of the pandemic, we now know just how essential these jobs are for our society.
"Victoria Cares would have the triple benefit of boosting female employment, making sure more people can get the care they need and creating more jobs overall rather than focusing only on infrastructure."