95% of primary parental leave (outside of the public-sector) is taken by women and women spend almost three times as much time caring for children each day, compared to men. Because women are the primary carers of children, they suffer additional discrimination caused by work life conflict and the lack of flexibility in the workplace. While childcare should be a family issue rather than a ‘women’s issue’ the statistics clearly show that the burden currently falls upon women and therefore the consequences of our broken childcare system falls squarely upon women.
Currently the cost of having two children in full-time childcare equals the after-tax earnings of the average Australian Women. This represents a significant disincentive to stay in the workforce. Evidence suggests that issues surrounding childcare cost, quality, location, opening hours and availability on demand are the most significant cause of women choosing to leave the workforce and/or remaining outside the workforce for longer than they would otherwise desire.
Childcare costs represent less than 1% of GDP and yet the contribution to GDP of equal workforce participation of women has been consistently calculated to increase GDP by 11-12% (Goldman Sachs, 2009; World Economic Forum, 2017). This campaign will revitalize the push of the Women’s Liberation Movement of the 70’s for free universal early childhood education and childcare for children from 0-5.