Oz women were better off in the 1950s, claims new report

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Melbourne, Feb 10 (ANI): A new study has revealed that women were better off in the 1950s than they are now.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the report claims that at present women with working husbands are tied to the sink by a welfare system that hampers job hunting.

It also said that even if they were to find a job, they then have difficulties taking it because of inadequate before and after school childcare, non-existent holiday minding services and inflexible working hours.

The study, which is on what restricts women from entering the workforce even when there are vacancies, said those same issues meant women were also more likely to refuse job promotions.

Women across Australia were interviewed for the report, Barriers to Women's Employment, Women and the Recession Project, with the main theme being that they have less help from the Federal Government's job-seeking services now than in the 1950s.

And that was a time when women were viewed largely as stay-at-home mothers, while both partners frequently need to work to survive in today's society.

The new privatised government employment services give women advice on the local job market and training opportunities but they don't get the complete suite of employment services available to unemployed people on welfare.

"The sad thing is that in 1947 they could," News.com.au quoted National Foundation of Australian Women spokeswoman, Marie Coleman, who also headed the Whitlam-era Social Welfare Commission, as saying.

"The Commonwealth Employment Service, set up in 1947, allowed anyone to rock up - married women, single women, teenagers, anybody of age - and it was a national scheme and you would be entitled to assistance in being placed.

"We are worse off than we were in the 1950s because it has been rejigged and all farmed out to private operators," she added.

Government subsidies to fix unsightly dental problems, buy appropriate clothes, mentoring and help finding a childcare place are government employment services unavailable to women with a working partner.

And that inability to get full access to employment services made it difficult for women trying to return to the workforce after years off caring for children or sick relatives, Coleman said.

A spokeswoman for Employment Participation Minister Mark Arbib said Job Services Australia assisted all unemployed job seekers.

But she confirmed higher levels of support were targeted on the basis of need, such as people who qualified for Centrelink income-support payments and their degree of labour market isadvantage. (ANI)

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