Presenting Australia’s Minister for Women’s Affairs…Tony Abbott
On the day that Tony Abbott is sworn in as Australia’s 28th Prime Minister, Australian women are informed he will be assuming responsibility for Women’s Affairs rather than appoint a specific woman as Minister for the Status of Women.
In a normal course of events this would be unacceptable but given Abbott’ s own sexist, demeaning attitude & behaviour to women, it is appalling and insulting.
Abbott has long been implicated in questionable behaviour towards women.
Starting in his student days when he was accused of punching the wall next to the head of Babara Ramjan, president of the SRC, other accusations of assaulting women, to his appalling sexists degrading treatment of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. His political career has been littered with so many inappropriate comments about women.
A few to consider:
“I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.” Four Corners 15/03/2010
” I think there does need to be give and take on both sides, and this idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold, just as the idea that sex is a man’s right to demand I think they are both they both need to be moderated, so to speak” March 2010
The problem with the Australian practice of abortion is that an objectively grave matter has been reduced to a question of the mother’s convenience.’ March 2004
“What the housewives of Australia need to understand as they do the ironing is that if they get it done commercially it’s going to go up in price and their own power bills when they switch the iron on are going to go up, every year….” Sydney Morning Herald February 2010
“While I think men and women are equal, they are also different and I think it’s inevitable and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all that we always have, say, more women doing things like physiotherapy and an enormous number of women simply doing housework.” Herald-Sun 06/08/2010.
” I think she has considerable sex appeal” comment regarding Liberal Candidate now MP Fiona Scott
Abbott’s deplorable comments of Julia Gillard included:
” Should be hit with a baseball bat”
“Should have a target put on her”
“Should be grilled”
He made no condemnation when other disgraceful comments were made about Julia Gillard including one from Steven Ciobo MP who said she “should have her throat cut”. Ciobo has now been promoted in Abbott’s team to a parliamentary secretary. Or Alan Jones who said “she should be put in a chaff bag & dumped at sea”
No man who has respect for women irrespective of political differences would have stood under those signs. It was an affront to all women. Women on the Labor front bench were often referred to as “The Handbag Hit Squad”
And now Abbott in presiding over a cabinet that has one woman amongst its ranks. However Abbott quickly assures us there are ” talented women knocking on the door”. Not good enough.
The Office for Women in the previous government outlined their 3 key policy areas that needed addressing:
- Reducing violence against women
- Increasing women’s economic security
- Ensuring women’s equal place in society
These issues remain critical for ensuring all Australian women irrespective of race, class, education, ethnicity, age & sexual preference are able to participate fully in Australian society without fear of violence, abuse & discrimination. These issues deserve serious policy decisions underpinned by a strong commitment from government towards ensuring justice & equity for all women.
We cannot afford to allow Tony Abbott to drag us backwards.
A society that is not equal for all is NOT Equal or Just for anyone.