TOPIC: INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
E&OE - PROOF ONLY
JANE REILLY: It’s a very exciting day, a big crowd coming along here. You’ve hosted this for many years. What do you personally get from coming along to the International Women’s Day Breakfast?
SENATOR PENNY WONG, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE: It’s a wonderful morning. It’s a morning where you get women from all over Adelaide from different walks of life. You get kids from school as well as grandmothers all coming together to celebrate International Women’s Day. So it’s very positive, very affirming.
REILLY: Today we have a very special guest speaker, former Prime Minister Julia Gillard. I think the women are going to really gain a lot from hearing from her.
WONG: Yes, she’s been a popular choice for a number of years. People have been saying come on, you’ve got to get Julia, and this is our 25th anniversary as a Breakfast and we thought that was fitting to have Julia come along and tell us her story, and tell us about the work she is doing in education.
REILLY: It seems that in the past century, since women got the vote that we have achieved a lot, but what are the issues for women in the future as we head further into the 21st century?
WONG: Good question. I always think International Women’s Day is an opportunity to look back, and to honour all those women who have gone before and made sure we got the vote, got the right to stand for Parliament, got equal pay, got things like the Sex Discrimination Act to make sure you couldn’t discriminate just because someone was a woman.
But it’s also a good day to look ahead isn’t it? To say what are the things we need to do? We’ve still got a gender pay gap of 18 per cent. Women will retire with tens of thousands of dollars less than men. We still have unacceptable levels of family violence. There are a range of areas where we still have a lot of work to do. We have come a long way, but there’s a long way to go.