Dear Prime Minister Turnbull,
As you know, on Monday night the people of Australia lost another Prime Minister. It’s okay, we’re used to it by now – we’ll adjust.
The thing is though, the women of Australia also lost their minister, the self-appointed Minister for Women.
Recently we published a list of everything that Tony Abbott had achieved in two years in the role. It was a very short list.
Last year, when asked by Lisa Wilkinson what he thought his greatest accomplishment for women was he said abolishing the carbon tax because “as many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget”. Really, that’s what he said.
Mr Prime Minister, sir, you have been praised as having more socially progressive views than your predecessor (which, let’s face it, isn’t hard). You’re a feminist too, I believe. This is good news indeed.
It must concern you that women in this country continue to face systematic disadvantage at almost every level – including within Parliament.
It must concern you that at least one women is murdered by a man known to her each week in Australia, that one in five women have experienced sexual assault, that one is hospitalised every three hours as a result of intimate partner violence.
It must concern you that your party is responsible for cutting millions of dollars in funding from essential services desperately needed to help women escape the threat of family violence.
There are many things that should concern you. Certainly, there are many things that concern us.
So, we have a few requests. A list of issues we’d like to see our new Minister for Women tackle. And a couple of qualities we think they ought to possess.
1. They’ll need to be a woman.