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Gender neutral policies are a myth: why we need a women’s budget

Miranda Stewart writes in The Conversation (16.3.16) about the need for greater attention to wage and economic disparity between the genders when governments plan their budgets.

‘Most government policies these days look gender neutral. But in substance, government policy often has a different impact on women and men, in distributing benefits and burdens of taxes and spending. How can we ensure that taxing and spending supports women’s equality?

‘The federal budget, expected in early May, is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to taxing and spending. Understanding the gender impact of the budget is also important to ensure that tax, spending and social programs aimed at improving economic growth and our society actually work.

‘Government policies are less effective, or may not succeed at all, if the different impact on women and men is not taken into account.’

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