A Women’s Agenda for COVID-Era Reconstruction

Women have been uniquely and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession: losing more jobs and hours, shouldering a higher unpaid caring work burden, and undertaking essential and frontlines jobs. Without targeted action to rebuild women's jobs and ease caring demands, decades of collective advances toward decent paid work could be eroded.

Alison Pennington, Senior Economist with the Centre for Future Work assisted The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) preparing the timely report Leaving Women Behind: The Real Cost of the COVID Recovery. The report documents the gendered impacts of the crisis and the federal government's COVID-era policies, and outlines a public investment strategy to undo the damage of the crisis, and ensure women play an equal role in an inclusive economic recovery.

To mark the release of ACTU’s report, the Australian Trade Union Institute hosted a webinar with ACTU President Michele O’Neil, Centre for Future Work’s Alison Pennington, Karen Batt (CPSU VIC), Helen Gibbons (UWU) and Julia Fox (SDA). The session presented the main report findings and considered how they might support campaigns for a gender-inclusive recovery.

Alison's presentation slides presented for the ATUI webinar are available here.

The full 38-page ACTU report is available here: Leaving Women Behind: The Real Cost of the COVID Recovery.


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