Interest groups fear a $240 million package won't be enough to boost the number of women in the workplace, but the prime minister says the rest of the budget will help too.
The federal budget package targeted specifically at women involves a handful of measures including help to complete STEM qualifications, support for women entrepreneurs and tackling workplace sexual harassment.
The Parenthood says the money doesn't stand up against the billions committed to other measures and fails to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on women.
Executive director Georgie Dent described the allocation as insulting, made worse by the fact it was framed by the treasurer as a serious investment.
"Women have lost hours and full-time employment in far greater numbers than men, all while their unpaid work at home has soared," she said.
"The federal government cannot back up its claims of being focused on jobs while failing to design any female-focused recovery efforts."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the government is trying to get as many women into work as possible.
"But this budget, above all, is a budget for all Australians," he told parliament on Wednesday.
"All Australians who are dealing with the challenge of the biggest global recession that we have seen since the Second World War."
Mr Morrison said women had filled 60 per cent of the jobs created since May.
He said the government was working to reduce the gender pay gap, which is still 14 per cent.
The United Workers Union, which represents large numbers of women in industries like aged care and early education, said the $240 million commitment was measly.
"It is poorly targeted and woefully inadequate," national secretary Tim Kennedy said.
"If the government genuinely wanted to support women, it would prioritise early childhood education and care."
The federal budget did not contain any new funding for child care.
Some 500 women are expected to benefit from $25.1 million towards new cadetships and apprenticeships in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Another $50 million will go towards a program to help women at work by expanding leadership grants and tackling sexual harassment.
Women entrepreneurs will also get improved access to mentoring and business advice.
Women have represented more than 50 per cent of job losses during the coronavirus pandemic.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese says women have been left behind in the budget
"Why is the government racking up $1 trillion of Liberal debt without a plan to support the participation of women in the workforce?"
Australian Associated Press
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