Monday, 22 March 2021
Statements by Members
For the last month, the women of Australia been crying out for this Prime Minister to listen to their concerns and to show leadership on gender equality and men's violence against women, to understand that this is a societal problem that requires his attention as a leader of this nation, not a political problem to be managed in his capacity as the leader of the Liberal Party. But so far, this Prime Minister has seemed uniquely ill-equipped to rise to this challenge. How is the Prime Minister so tone-deaf to this moment? Throughout this Prime Minister's career, either he has not wanted women in his inner circle, or women have not wanted to be there.
An article published in the Australian Financial Review in 2018 investigated who this Prime Minister relies on for advice. It is titled 'Bubble Boys: Who is in Scott Morrison's inner circle?' 'Bubble Boys'—you could not sum up a Morrison government any better. The article lists 23 Prime Ministerial confidants, only three of whom were women, including the Prime Minister's wife. This does not just happen and it is not just the norm. It could not have been said about Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, Julia Gillard or Kevin Rudd. It certainly can't be said about the Labor leader and Leader of the Opposition. When Australian women ask whether this Prime Minister is on their side, the answer begins with: who is in the room when the Prime Minister is making these decisions? An Albanese Labor government will be on the side of Australian women and it will have voices of Australian women at the highest levels of government.