Lee is the Australian Greens spokesperson on women. As a Greens MP in the NSW Parliament for over a decade Lee held the women’s portfolio and campaigned on funding for an Office of Women, women's health, the working rights of women, better services and laws for women subject to domestic violence and abortion law reform.
In the federal sphere Lee is continuing to champion women’s rights, including work/life balance and women’s representation in politics. She is also working on reproductive health as part of her work in the foreign aid portfolio. Lee founded the annual Juanita Nielsen Memorial lecture in 2001. Juanita was a community activist who disappeared feared murdered for her stance against overdevelopment in Kings Cross.
31 Jul 2009
The Greens will move in the Senate to protect the rights of women to choose safe homebirths if the Government does not change its proposed legislation, Australian Greens health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
The Greens will move amendments to legislation on midwife services when it comes into the Senate in the coming weeks to ensure that mothers continue to have the option of a homebirth with the assistance of a registered midwife, without incurring huge financial penalties.
12 Nov 2008
Today, Senator Siewert told stories of women workers currently finding life very difficult under Work Choices and wondering what their working lives will be like under Forward with Fairness.
The stories were taken from a booklet prepared by Asian Women at Work called ‘Cries from the Workplace: 20 women, 20 stories'. The women outline what they want from fair workplace laws, including broad minimum legal protection, unfair dismissal laws, stronger anti-bullying laws and removal of restrictions in unions' rights of entry.
"We haven't seen the Government's Forward with Fairness legislation yet but on the basis of the implementation plan and the Minister's public comments so far we believe that Forward with Fairness will not be meeting the needs of many Australian workers," said Australian Greens spokesperson on industrial relations Senator Rachel Siewert.
12 Nov 2008
I would like today to address the issues of what workers are saying they need from Forward with Fairness and the change to the industrial relations laws. I want to tell the stories of workers themselves who are currently finding life very difficult under Work Choices and wondering what their working lives will be like under Forward with Fairness. These stories will illustrate the potential gaps in the Forward with Fairness policy. I say ‘potential' because as yet we have not seen the legislation, but, on the basis of the Forward with Fairness implementation plan and the minister's public statements so far, I feel a great deal of concern that in fact the proposed changes will not be meeting the needs of many Australian workers.
06 Nov 2007
The coalition has once again shown contempt for the hurt that Work Choices is causing many working people in Australia.
"The policy released today by Mr Hockey is nothing more than a thin veneer of window dressing on the harmful and unfair Work Choices regime," said Senator Rachel Siewert.
05 Nov 2007
In December 2006 the Howard Government rushed into law two pieces of legislation that are having a disastrous effect on many women in our community - Work Choices and Welfare to Work.
25 Oct 2007
The Australian Greens today blasted the Government for their treatment of single mothers.
16 Oct 2007
"Work Choices and Welfare to Work are leaving many Australian women with no choices", said Senator Rachel Siewert.
Each of these two measures, Work Choices and Welfare to Work, are hurting women. Together they represent a direct attack on a particularly vulnerable group in our community.
14 Oct 2007
From 1 July last year, child-care fee assistance under the Jobs Education and Training program (JET) was cut back to only include courses of study or training of up to 12 months for new participants.
09 Oct 2007
Paid parental leave, affordable childcare and measures to balance work and family commitments are the cornerstones of building a brighter and more prosperous future, the Greens said today.
25 Jun 2007
"Many single mums are being forced to drop out of degrees and take on huge debts since the Government changed its eligibility criteria for childcare assistance while studying," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.