If Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott is as disappointed as he says about the lack of women appointed to his new Cabinet, he should outline immediately how he plans to address the issue according to the Women’s’ Electoral Lobby.
WEL National Chair Melanie Fernandez said the unveiling of the new Cabinet has dealt representation of women in the top levels of government a significant blow after just one woman was given a spot.
“No Ministry can be considered representative of the community when a group making up 50% of the population is being overlooked so significantly.
“There is also only one woman appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary so it doesn’t even appear as if women are being given the opportunity to start preparing for Cabinet roles.
“The Prime Minister elect has acknowledged it’s a problem so what will he do to address it?”
Ms Fernandez said after a lack lustre performance on policy for women in the federal election campaign, a lack of women in the Cabinet sets an alarming precedent for the interests of women in the coming three years.
“Leaving women out of policy development and decision making will see attempts to address the disadvantage and barriers that many women still face continue to miss the mark.
“Women experience inequality in a number of areas in relation to pay, Superannuation, access to jobs and also in terms of the way caring responsibilities are treated and supported.
“Input from women on policy across the spectrum is crucial to Australia’s continued progress in these areas and more broadly.”