Australian Women - Labor's Plan for Equality


A Shorten Labor Government will put achieving gender equality for Australian women at the centre of our priorities with a National Strategy for Gender Equality.

Labor has a concrete plan for action, and we’re committed to real change:  supporting women’s march through the institutions of power; closing the gender gap in pay and superannuation; and ending harassment and violence against women.  And we’re on track to achieve our target of 50 per cent of Labor Parliamentarians being women.

Women’s representation and equality just isn’t a priority for the Liberals.  After six years in power, the Liberals have taken no serious action on gender equity and they never will.


Labor will invest in policies that directly support women’s economic security, leadership, health and wellbeing, and to end violence against women.  Delivering a fair go for Australian women is core Labor business.

A Shorten Labor Government will:

  • Deliver a National Strategy for Gender Equality.  We will set targets for change; take measurable action to tackle inequality; and report on Australia’s progress through an annual update to Parliament.
  • Lead a national push to help close the gender pay gap by making large employers publicly report their pay gap and by banning pay secrecy clauses.
  • Deliver a fair go for Australian women by strengthening the ability of the Fair Work Commission to order pay increases for workers in female dominated industries such as early childhood education, aged care, and disability services.
  • Restore cuts to penalty rates, which disproportionately impact women on low incomes.
  • Invest more than $655 million in measures that will boost women’s superannuation, including paying superannuation on Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave for the first time.
  • Immediately begin work on a new National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children, set a target to reduce rates of family violence and make prevention of family violence a national priority by working with state and territories.
  • Deliver a record Commonwealth investment of more than $660 million in the Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children – more than doubling the Liberals’ investment.
  • Legislate for 10 days paid domestic violence leave in the National Employment Standards.
  • Invest $88 million in a Safe Housing Fund to deliver emergency and transitional housing for women and children escaping violence, older women at risk of homelessness and young people exiting out-of-home care.Set up a Safe Campus Taskforce to help tackle sexual assault and harassment on university campuses and at residential colleges.
  • Tackle forced marriage by introducing forced marriage protection orders and establishing a Commonwealth Forced Marriage Unit to assist victims.
  • Deliver Australia’s first ever National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy to make sure all Australian women can access legal, safe and affordable reproductive health services, including terminations, in public hospitals.
  • Deliver $95 million towards investments in women’s sport, including $20 million to Netball Australia to help fund grass roots participation and more than $75 million to community sporting clubs to provide change rooms and facilities for women and girls.
  • Support women in trades and training by reserving half of Labor’s 100,000 fee-free TAFE places for women.
  • Labor will create Australia’s first National Evaluation Framework for Girls and Women in STEM Initiatives; fund the SAGE program to drive gender equality in science and research; and establish a National Women in Science Day.
  • Invest an extra $19.5 million in programs to provide intensive in-school mentoring for thousands of First Nations girls and young women.
  • Meet our 50:50 target for representation of women on government boards within the first term of government and set targets to boost women’s representation in senior public service roles.
  • Reform the Australian Honours System to better recognise women’s contributions to our community.
  • Appoint a female Governor General of Australia.
  • Restore the Time Use Survey so we can better value women’s unpaid work; acknowledge its economic importance and drive better policy making.
  • Establish a new framework for gender responsive policy development and decision making, including restoring the annual Women’s Budget Statement.

You can learn more about Labor’s comprehensive plans for gender equality in Australian Women. Labor’s Plan for Equality.

Labor will pay for these commitments by making multinationals pay their fair share and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.