The promise of what the federal budget delivers for women has been found to be well short of reality, with two major reviews of the 2021-22 budget have finding, like budgets before, it still favours men.
And the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) and the Australian Council for Social Service (ACOSS) both slam the government over a lack of structural reform to address gender inequalities and point to women on low incomes, including single parents and older women, being left behind.
The Morrison government had shifted the focus of the budget and elevated spending on women and girls in the wake of shocking allegations in recent months about the treatment of women in politics including the alleged rape of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.
There's a $1.7 billion for childcare, $2 billion for preschools, changes to superannuation and $1.1 billion for women's safety.
The chair of NFAW's Social Policy Committee, Professor Helen Hodgson says not enough has been delivered.
"It is more of the same," she told The Canberra Times. "This was an opportunity to actually go in and address some of the structural issues that were underpinning the reason why women feel that the government hasn't been doing as much for them as they should be."
"And even though there's money being thrown into certain programs, there is actually no structural changes happening."
Many of the expenditures in the budget go to personal income tax cuts, business tax cuts and infrastructure which NFAW says disproportionately benefits men on higher incomes.
"What was it, concrete tanks for builders for construction industry? Professor Hodgson said. "We had a ute for somebody in the transport industry and farmers were buying a tractor."
"They can't even see how the indirect effects of these sorts of initiatives actually are going to have this long-term consequence."
ACOSS's CEO Cassandra Goldie says Australian women have been let down by the budget.
"The expenditures targeted specifically to women could barely be described as a modest step in the right direction," Dr Goldie said.
NFAW found older women were largely ignored in the budget and so did ACOSS in its analysis which described "locking in" gender inequality.
"I'm very worried that when we got the Treasury secretary, almost immediately after the federal budget, saying that before too long we will be needing to start to do budget repair, but we need to keep in place tax cuts," Dr Goldie said.
"That will mean cuts to social expenditures and you can see that will again negatively affect on women."
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