The conversations of life

Tony Abbott slams 40:40:20 gender workforce target – for being “anti-men”


The former Prime Minister told 2GB radio presenter Ray Hadley this week that gender quotas suggested by the Australian Human Rights Commission are “politically correct rubbish” – and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Kate Jenkins, to “pull your head in”.

“We absolutely have to give women a fair go but some of this stuff sounds like it’s just anti-men,” he said.

The AHRC had recommended Government agencies aim for a hiring rate of at least 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and the other 20 per cent left “flexible”.

Women dominate graduate numbers

Ms Jenkins has since released a statement saying the quotas were not meant to be mandatory.

But really, why shouldn’t they be? 60 per cent of our university graduates are now women. Is it wrong to say that we should have an equal number of men and women in our government departments?

Mr Abbott – who was Minister for Women while he was PM until 2015 – did acknowledge the challenge the Liberal Party is facing in getting women into parliament.

“If we want to do the right thing by women we need to get more conservative women in parliament,” he said.

We rest our case.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

Discussion1 Comment

  1. We rightly have a talent and merit based system, so quotas are wrong, wrong, wrong. If women do not in fact have equal opportunity to get these roles, then we should go to the source of the problem rather than resort to quotas. It may simply reflect the available talent pool for the positions in question and that may simply be a function of the choices that we all make, both women and men. If it’s something else, then work out what it is before resorting to quotas!

    It’s interesting that you see an issue in achieving gender equality in employment where men appear to have an advantage, yet you completely ignore the issue in education where women appear to have an advantage!!!!!! You note that 60% of university graduates are now women – yet there was no mention or suggestion that there may be an issue there that needs to be considered and addressed. Why is it so? Women are not smarter than men, or vice versa, so what is going on? Does our education system now favour women, or has it got something to do with how boys and girls develop and mature at different ages (on average). If it’s either of these things then action is required. I’m not suggesting quotas, but hey, if the shoe fits!

    This is a central problem of modern day feminism, where the focus continues to be dangerously tilted towards women, while all is silent when it comes to men and men’s issues. No wonder good women are standing up, saying enough is enough, and refusing to identify themselves as feminists.

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