Carers play a vital role in our society

Today Abigail spoke about the important role that carers play in the everyday lives of millions of people with disability, older people and children. 

(1) That this House notes that:

(a) Sunday 29 October 2022 was the United Nations’ inaugural International Day of Care and Support, a day that aims to raise awareness of the importance of carers and the need to invest in a resilient, gender-responsive, disability-inclusive carer economy,

(b) according to Carers NSW, there are currently over 854,300 carers across NSW who provide vital care and support to family members, friends, or those in the wider community who live with a disability, mental illness, alcohol or drug dependency, long-term health condition or complications due to age, 

(c) unpaid care and domestic work remains invisible, undervalued and unaccounted for in national statistics and often neglected in economic and social policymaking,

(d) women represent 70 percent of unpaid primary carers for children and 56.1 percent of unpaid carers for the elderly, people with a disability or a long-term health condition,

(e) women spend 64.4% of their average weekly working time on unpaid care work, as compared to men who spend only 36.1%, and 

(f) the imbalanced distribution of unpaid duties further entrenches gender inequality, as time devoted to unpaid care restricts women’s capacity to fully participate in paid employment, leading them to seek vulnerable forms of employment such as casual or contract work. This limits women’s long-term earning abilities, opportunities for promotions and superannuation contributions, resulting in significant inequalities for women in retirement incomes.

(2) That this House: 

(a) applauds the dedication of unpaid carers for members in our community, which is too often overlooked, and

(b) calls on the NSW Government to acknowledge the impact of unpaid care work on the social and economic wellbeing of NSW residents, and take action to address the gender inequalities caused by the inequitable division of unpaid labour.

Read the transcript in Hansard here.

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