QCOSS’ 2021 Gender budget analysis report shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected women’s employment and the state government must do more if the gender pay gap is ever to be addressed.

The report was commissioned by QCOSS’ Gender Equality Policy Network, whose members include representatives from 15 community organisations throughout Queensland.

Women make up the majority of workers in industries which have suffered reduced hours and income loss during COVID-19

QCOSS CEO Aimee McVeigh said, “The Queensland Government has made significant progress in identifying and monitoring the broad issues that impact gender equality since 2015. However, the gender pay gap and other gender equality indicators will remain and widen if new, proactive steps are not taken.”

“Women were much more likely to absorb the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – either by reducing their work hours, stepping out of the workforce entirely, or working in an industry put under enormous pressure by the crisis.

Casual employment is more common for women than men

The report shows that the some of the Queensland Government’s budget measures may be inadvertently entrenching the gender pay gap. One of the most effective ways to measure the impact of budget measures on gender equality is to invest in a Gender Responsive Budgeting unit, similar to that announced by the Victorian Government earlier this year.