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Friday, 12 June 1970

Mr SNEDDEN - -I am not sure that 1 heard the commencement of the question.

Mr Hansen - I understand that a study is being undertaken by the Department of Labour and National Service and the Australian Clothing Manufacturers Council.

Mr SNEDDEN - I know of no such study. 1 did see some reports of remarks made by a spokesman on behalf of the Australian Clothing Manufacturers Council but there is no study that I know of by the Department and that Council. What that Council is doing is inquiring into ways of attracting more women into the work force. My own Department does not have a study for the purpose of attracting women into the work force, lt realises the reality of the situation which is that for social reasons and because of community attitudes more women are going into the work force.

Mr Hansen - Married women.

Mr SNEDDEN - There has been quite a remarkable growth in the number of women in the work force. In the 1960s that number grew from about 27% to about 33%. The number of married women in the work force doubled from 9% to 18%. My attitude and that of the Department through me is not to attract women into the work force but to recognise that women are going into the work force. Therefore we have to deal with the problems for them and for the community which are created by their entry into the work force. I wanted to make that clear. I dd not want the statement to go unanswered by me as though I acquiesced in it. I have made clear my own point of view. Women in rural areas constitute a very real problem in relation to decentralisation. They constitute a very real problem in leaving their homes in rural areas and going to the cit:es. For those who remain there is the real problem of finding employment. We are constantly looking at this matter, but I cannot promise any easy solution.

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