AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Abbott Rubbished ‘Anti-Men’ Gender Quota

By Politicoscope May 1, 2017 15:50

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Abbott Rubbished ‘Anti-Men’ Gender Quota

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rubbished Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins’ suggestion government contractors should try to employ at least 40 per cent women.

Reports today suggested Ms Jenkins wants the federal government to make private sector contractors hire more women. Ms Jenkins has since put out a statement defending her stance and that of the Australian Human Rights Commission on gender targets.

“We did not recommend that quotas be put in place, rather we recommended that the Commonwealth Government should become a model industry in improving the participation of women in the workforce,” she said.

“One of the strategies proposed is that the Government should require contracted organisations to demonstrate efforts to improve gender balance, with an ultimate goal of reaching a 40:40:20 gender balance.”

Mr Abbott told 2GB radio presenter Ray Hadley that her proposal sounded “anti-men” and Ms Jenkins should “pull her head in”.

“The headline tomorrow should be Prime Minister says to Kate Jenkins, Kate thanks very much for the advice, but we won’t be taking it,” Mr Hadley put to Mr Abbott.

Mr Abbott replied: “But pull your head in, exactly right. Exactly right. Look obviously we have to give women a fair go. We absolutely have to give women a fair go but some of this stuff just sounds like its anti-men.

“This latest attempt by the Human Rights Commission to start yet again dictating to business how they should do their job shows why the Human Rights Commission has long out-longed any usefulness,” he said.

However, Mr Abbott did acknowledge the difficulties the Liberal Party was having in getting women into parliament.

“If we want to do the right thing by women we need to get more conservative women in parliament. That’s one of the challenges which faces my party right now.”

Mr Abbott also added his voice to calls from conservative Liberals to pressure Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to force Yassmin Abdel-Magied to resign from a government advisory board.

Ms Abdel-Magied, who came under fire last week for a now-deleted ANZAC Day Facebook post, is a board member of the Council for Australian-Arab Relations, run by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Plainly she needs to be told that her services are no longer required on the government committees. You’re right the ABC will do it’s own thing, often enough the wrong thing, but government should be in charge of its own house. Having someone with these views on official government committees doesn’t make any sense,” Mr Abbott said.

“Now Peter Dutton said this on your program last week, good on him, Peter Dutton is right. I think it’s absolutely imperative that the foreign minister take appropriate action now.”

After conservative backbencher Eric Abetz’s demanded Ms Abdel-Magied to be dismissed from the government advisory board, both Immigraiton Minister Mr Dutton and Malcolm Turnbull said it was a matter for Ms Bishop.

Ms Bishop said she will “carefully consider” the issue.

At the same time, Sydney University lecturer Tim Anderson used a series of Anzac Day social media posts to accuse Australian military personnel of committing murder in Syria.

The former Prime Minister and Ms Bishop have exchanged public criticisms since the leadership coup which saw Mr Abbott lose the leadership.

– Australia

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By Politicoscope May 1, 2017 15:50

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