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Thursday, 6 March 2014
Page: 1889

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (13:33): The issue of women's equality has made positive gains, however we live in a world that is still far from equal. This coming Saturday is International Women's Day and tomorrow morning I will once again attend the annual Zonta International Women's Day breakfast at the MiHi Tavern in Brassall in my electorate of Blair. Each year, the Ipswich arm of Zonta International holds the breakfast, at which an inspiring woman is guest speaker, to celebrate International Women's Day. The speakers address a room of about 150 people, including groups of young women from local high schools. This year's International Women's Day theme is 'inspiring change'.

We know statistics and research on equality that shows that despite numerous campaigns and corporate initiatives run across the world, gender equality remains a live issue. To use academia for example, we know that in Australia in 2013, women account for only 28 per cent of academic appointments above lecturer level. In the natural and physical sciences, the statistics are far worse, only 17 per cent. We know that women today earn only 83.50c for every dollar a man earns. Nine and a half years ago, it hit 85c, but it has gone backwards since. We know that one woman in this country dies each week as a result of domestic violence and we know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are many times more likely to be hospitalised. I congratulate the Ipswich club of Zonta International for the work they do year in and year out to improve the lives of women.