Calls get louder for women's pay, safety

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The coalition has failed women on fair pay and effective action on domestic violence, advocates say.

Childcare, retail and disability workers rallied on Friday outside the office of Liberal MP Gladys Liu in the Melbourne seat of Chisholm, one of the most marginal federal electorates, calling for women's pay, security and safety to be at the forefront of the election campaign.

"Scott Morrison and his government have failed women on every single issue that matters," ACTU president Michele O'Neil said, as the crowd chanted "shame".

"You're more likely to be underpaid, you're more likely to be in insecure work.

"It's not just going to be our grandkids, it's going to be their grandkids, before women have equal pay."

Aged care and early childhood education are professions with predominantly female employees. Workers in those sectors are among the lowest paid in Australia.

"You know that this is some of the hardest, most important work you could ever do," Ms O'Neil said.

She said women have a two-in-three chance of being bullied or harassed at work, and one woman a week on average is killed by a current or former partner.

Liberal frontbencher Sussan Ley said since 2013 the government had invested more than $3.6 billion in women's safety and security.

"I've listened to people's stories, I am incredibly committed as is the Morrison government, as you've seen by this record funding," she said.

Separately, former Australian of the year and activist Rosie Batty told ABC Radio National that while the coalition focused on issues around family violence prior to the election, it remained "glaringly silent" the majority of the time.

"What have we been doing for the last 10 years?".

Ms Batty said organisations helping domestic violence survivors are still stretched.

"It sounds like a lot of money, but governments are very good at re-gifting money that's already out there, packaging it up to look as if it's a huge investment," she said.

Ms Batty launched the community-based Australian Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Recovery Alliance on Thursday to provide services for women and children affected by violence.

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