MAN, Tony’s going to be copping it for quite some time about this.
And in all fairness, he should.
Our PM Tony Abbott is the Minster for Women, for Christmas’ sake. So when he was asked what he considered to be his biggest achievement in that role for 2014, he could have come up with something better than:
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“Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households. As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550 a year benefit for the average family.”
So, instead of an actual achievement related to women, he whips out the tired ‘carbon tax’ repeal card.
And I really struggle to see the link between a vague $550 carbon tax saving (has your household banked any savings, ‘cause mine certainly hasn’t!) and the progression of women in this country.
How does that possibly help women achieve a better balance between family and work? How does it encourage more female leaders to rise to the upper ranks as CEOs and managing directors? How does it address pay inequality, access to part-time and flexibly employment for mothers and more affordable childcare?
Obviously, it doesn’t – not even a little bit.
Which is why the response from Australian women has been instant and scathing.
To be honest, there’s a good chance we were always going to jump on his response, regardless of what it was.
If he’d answered, “I put a substantial parental leave package on the table to help women better balance their family with work”…
Well, we would have pointed out that his proposed scheme has changed markedly from the policy he ran on, and there will likely be countless evolutions to come.
And that’s the real issue here. As the Minister for Women, Tony hasn’t actually done a great deal (or even a small deal) to progress the movement forward.
Perhaps it’s time our PM resigned from this particular role so he could delegate it to someone else – like, perhaps, a woman? It would help shore up his female leadership team. In fact, it would increase by 50%. It’d go all the way up from two female ministers to three!