The Australian Greens are calling on the Prime Minister to step down from his position as Minister for Women and appoint a woman to the role.
“The Prime Minister’s latest gender faux pas, dismissing an elderly woman’s work on a sex line to cope with financial burden, by winking inappropriately, is further evidence that he is not a fit Minister for Women,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for Women, said.
“We need a Minister for Women who is actually a woman and who is prepared to stand up for women – not simply dismiss their problems with a wink and a smirk.
“We still have so far to go in advancing equality for women in Australia – figures out today show 60 per cent of professional Australian men believe women have equal opportunities at work and 20 per cent think women lack ambition, rather than acknowledging the systemic barriers which exist.
“Australian women are still paid 17 per cent less than men and one Australian woman is killed a week through domestic violence.
“We need urgent action to address these systemic challenges and yet Tony Abbott’s budget takes giant steps backward.
“Tony Abbott’s increases on university fee interest will disproportionately affect women, who are more likely to work in the lower-paid community sector and take time off to have children.
“Tony Abbott’s budget also makes it harder for domestic violence victims to see a doctor, with the GP co-payment, and to escape violent homes, with cuts to the single parent tax benefit and the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
“All of this systemic discrimination will be harder to fix when there is just one woman in Cabinet and a male Minister for Women who has views on gender reminiscent of the 1950s.
“Australian women deserve so much more,” Senator Waters said