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Wednesday, 29 June 1994
Page: 2320


Senator LEES (Deputy Leader of the Australian Democrats) (4.25 p.m.) —I want to pick up on the very last comment of the Minister for Family Services (Senator Crowley), and that is that, in looking today at what has happened in the last 10 years, we will not be able to judge the next 20 years. If we look back over the last 10 years, as I just said, women have been marking time. We have not in any way caught up with men as far as average weekly earnings are concerned. Does the minister recognise that with women having a labour participation rate of just 52.4 per cent against the 73.4 per cent of men and with women in the work force earning on average just 66 per cent of men's wages—and that has been the same on average for the last 10 years—women have far less capacity to actually earn anything for their retirement, either through superannuation or accruing assets?