In response to Malcolm Turnbull’s “Remarks to 2016 International Women’s Day Parliamentary Breakfast,” I would like to use this most innovative medium that women all over the world have the most exciting time using, to turn his waffle into some real food for thought.
Turnbull: It is well-known that when a woman is empowered, the whole economy, the whole community benefits – women that hold up more than half the sky in reality.
The Australian Liberal Party ideology of austerity and punitive measures to ‘manage’ the economy disempowers the most vulnerable of women. Women face the disempowerment of pregnancy discrimination in the workplace and disempowerment and the trauma of breastfeeding discrimination by the public.
The punitive measure of forcing single mothers to seek employment is a discrimination that married men and women do not have to face. Income management degrades and stigmatises women at the checkout. The cuts to family payments place an undue burden on women who are the managers of household finances. Cuts to family payments and pensions disempower women by restricting their choices as wives, mothers and friends.
The disparity between Indigenous women and other women in the population is even greater.
Women are not holding up half the sky. We are trying to stop the bastard from falling in!
Turnbull: Critical to any economy and society is ensuring that we have access to the ingenuity, the enterprise, the intellect of the whole community – in our schools, in our workplaces, and in the innovative industries of the future.
For women to advance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths areas of enterprise, there needs to be support from day one. This means that ALL girls, regardless of income, geographic location or background, need to have supportive Government funded education programs from Prep to PhD.
Turnbull is doing nothing but paying lip service to this though cuts to Gonski Funding and his 100% support of the 100,000 dollar university degrees is not a good start for any women or girls.
You simply cannot have ingenuity and equal access to the ‘enterprise’ within the workplace and innovative industries without fully supporting Gonski.
No human being in this country, let alone women in regional and rural areas, will have a hope of advancing technology-based industries in this country without an efficient and effective NBN.
Women with a disability will have this further out of reach, without critical needs being met if the NDIS is not fully funded.
What would be innovative is if the Turnbull put a dam in his waffle and gave a damn. (That actually would be real incremental innovation!).
Turnbull: Ensuring that that the power of women is brought to bear, is enabled, empowered, that rich human capital and increasing their participation in the workforce, must be a critical part of every government’s agenda to secure the economic future of the nation. Australia’s best assets, its best capital, is its human capital. Our greatest value, our greatest asset is not under the ground, it’s all of us, all of you – 24 million of us – and half of that population are women.
Power of women will be brought to bear, when women stop making up the bulk of insecure, casualised and lowest paid employment in our country.
When a system is brought into redress the superannuation disparity for women in this country, rather than cutting superannuation for the lowest paid workers.
When women are given the power to have confidence in the workplace and never face pregnancy discrimination.
Women will be given power when their human capital is respected as valuable as the human capital of men and the glass ceiling becomes folklore.
Women could be given power if the intellectual capital of the Liberal Government could view the cuts to penalty rates as an attack on the women, who can only source this type of work, due to family circumstances.
What is critical is that women voters, all 12 million of us, need to realise that the Liberal Government’s underpinning ideology of austerity and individualism, takes power from women and particularly for those who are disadvantaged.
Turnbull: Now as well as financial and economic security, it is absolutely vital that women live free from violence and are safe in their communities. It is time to confront this very important fact: society’s attitude towards women, the value we place on women, the regard we have for women, is directly connected to the violence that is committed against women. This is really, I believe, one of the most important facts of all.
It is absolutely vital that all women live free from violence. This includes LGBTI women who should always feel safe at school and an inquiry into whether that is necessary, will only reinforce that violence is OK.
Women need to be safe online and protected by law from revenge porn.
Women need to be given the best opportunities at life through a GONSKI education framework, which enables them the best opportunities for not only education and work, but also to have the educational proficiency to understand their rights and to navigate the social support systems in place.
Women seeking asylum also need to be free from violence. From the countries they are fleeing and from violence in offshore detention camps. Women should not have to live in fear of violence in indefinite and prolonged detention.
Women should be safe from rape and assault and not be subject to more intense and prolonged questioning than other violence and abuse claims in the court of law.
Women should be free from violence through the support of fully funded legal centres not cuts to them.
What is absolutely vital is that in Turnbull’s 100% support for the 2014 budget and supporting everything Tony Abbott set out to achieve; that he recognises that every single cut to funding services, every single closure, every single and punitive policy enables a culture of violence towards women.
Turnbull: Disrespecting women does not always result in violence against women, but all violence against women begins with disrespect for women. All violence against women begins with disrespecting.
Disrespecting women means not enabling a culture where women must face personal gendered questions at pre-selection to be voices in our parliament.
Disrespecting women means spying on a female Senator who was just doing her job.
Disrespecting women means holding up signs saying “Ditch the Witch”
Disrespecting women is trying to abolish the unions who stand up for the rights of women at work.
Disrespecting women means not acting quickly when a male politician gropes a female worker on an official business trip.
Disrespecting women means promoting a male politician who once implied others would like to ‘Slit Julia Gillard’s throat.’
Disrespecting women is trying to force a female President of the Human Rights Commission to resign because they have uncovered ugly truths.
Disrespecting women is taking an extraordinary amount of time to replace the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.
Disrespecting women with a disability is abolishing the Disability Commissioner.
Disrespecting women is cutting family payments
Disrespecting women is to force single mothers away from their children into work when coupled women have the privilege of choice.
Disrespecting women is the criminalisation of abortion in some states.
Disrespecting women is not paying the Matildas, the BEST football team in Australia’s history a proper professional wage.
Disrespecting women is not allowing women to marry the woman of their choice.
Disrespecting women is not speaking up loudly to protect a former Chief of Staff against current sexist imputations as the result of a ‘tell all book.’
Disrespecting women is encouraging them to vote Liberal.
Turnbull: Gender equality – I repeat – is an economic and social priority for Australia – it’s good for women, families, business and our economy.
So, I want to ask all of us here today to do all we can to ensure that all women are afforded equal economic and social opportunities to men. And I call on men, women, business and government to work together to lead the cultural change required to ensure that women are respected, are represented, have a strong voice, are financially and economically secure, and are safe from violence.
If this is a sincere claim, the Prime Minister of Australia would encourage all voters in support of all women to put the Liberals and Nationals last.