Reforming Australia’s care economy will be placed at the forefront of the Albanese government’s push for equality between men and women.

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher will travel to Bali on Wednesday, as will her foreign counterparts, for a conference leading up to the G20 summit later this year.

The women’s ministerial conference – established under the Italian G20 presidency in 2021 – will discuss a plan which seeks to empower women.

World leaders attending the summit will be asked to endorse this plan.

In a speech to the conference, Senator Gallagher will say improving women’s economic equality will be woven through the government’s jobs and skills summit in September.

“Our care economy is a major focus because we know that is it is a critical constraint on women’s economic equality and our broader economic progress,” she says.

“We cannot waste this opportunity to learn from the experience of COVID and shape the care economy for the better in the future.

“It is clear that access to quality care in a formal care economy is critical to broader workforce participation, especially for women.”

Senator Gallagher will also hold bilateral meetings with women’s ministers from Indonesia, the European Union, the UK, India and Fiji.

She will declare her government is committed to Australia becoming a global leader in gender equality.

“Our economic, industrial and employment settings need to support the sharing of paid and unpaid care work between men and women,” Senator Gallagher will say.

“In our homes and communities we need to challenge the norms that care work is women’s business and instead value that work as a critical contribution to our economy and to our thriving communities.”


Tess Ikonomou
(Australian Associated Press)