IPA Today

The War On Motherhood

Written by
2 August 2022
Originally appeared in The Spectator Australia

Women have come a long way in the struggle for equality in society, but what started as a noble project has been hijacked to fuel the grievance industry. Big business are the winners in this game, and families the losers.

In July, KPMG released She’s Price(d)less, their taxpayer-funded report into the gender wage gap commissioned by the Diversity Council of Australia and Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

The report claims Australian women are being paid $2.56 less each hour than their male counterparts. Cue the hand-wringing.

KPMG found that gender discrimination accounts for 91 cents, or 36 per cent of the hourly wage gap, and continues to be the biggest contributing factor to pay discrepancies between men and women.

Most fair-minded individuals would wince at such a disparity.

However, the report claims the wage gap cannot be explained using measurable data. KPMG handily attributes the absence of evidence as evidence for good old-fashioned ‘gender discrimination’.

This gaping hole in KPMG’s research has been overlooked by the left-wing media who disseminated the news with predictable eagerness.

It suits the interests of establishment journalists, politicians, and executives to ensure the grievance machine keeps running at full steam.

On top of this, the report is riddled with broad disclaimers which reinforce the Woke narrative that the patriarchy is once again preventing women from achieving workplace success.

Perhaps the pendulum has swung too far. Public opinion is against the conclusions found in KPMG’s report with 59 per cent of respondents in the Focus 2030 survey believing that gender equality is ‘better’ in the country than it was 25 years ago.

In fact, 52 per cent of male respondents said they felt they were suffering from reverse discrimination via affirmative action, with women being favoured for jobs and promotions.

Big business, big government, and big media have weaponised the gender wage gap to push a fringe feminist message. The gender discrimination narrative is being used to distract from glaring inadequacies in this policy space.

KPMG’s latest report betrays the values of mainstream Australian women, children, and families. More sinister perhaps, is the report’s anti-maternal message.

There is a broad tendency in Western society to undervalue motherhood. This report is no different, pointing out that the gender wage gap exists because women face a ‘disproportionate share of unpaid caring and domestic work’.

Equating motherhood to ‘unpaid caring’ speaks volumes of the inner-city elites who seek to deride motherhood.

What decent society would support the perception that motherhood equals slavery, while employment equals empowerment?

Women should not fall prey to the idea that they must climb the greasy corporate pole to be considered a success. Modern feminists promoting this message are arguably now hurting rather than helping women.

Worse still, the choice to work for many has been taken away. Today, with the economy faltering and housing costs rising, families are more burdened than ever – choosing between work and caring responsibilities is no longer an option for many women.

The role of the family throughout history has been to care for children and many women would prefer to take on the primary role of raising their children.

Those behind KPMG’s report seem to pretend that female empowerment is all about employment when in fact it should be about giving women a choice.

To this end, governments should focus on improving the regulatory and economic environment to make it possible for families to survive on a single income. Cutting taxes, family income splitting, and making housing more affordable would be a good start.

Hard-working taxpayers with a family to feed should not be footing the bill for a report that betrays their interests and needs.

While the Morrison Government commissioned the KPMG report, little can be expected to change under Anthony Albanese. A core value of the Canberra bubble is to measure a woman’s success by her contribution to the national GDP, not the achievement of her real aspirations.

Gender discrimination has turned into a Trojan horse that is being used to push anti-natalist and anti-motherhood agendas.

While feminism has achieved huge wins for women over the years, the average Australian woman have been pushed aside in this latest woke crusade.

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Brianna McKee

Brianna McKee is a Research Fellow for the Foundations of Western Civilisation Program at the Institute of Public Affairs.

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