Mamamia’s co-founder and creative director Mia Freedman appeared on QandA last night alongside Minister for Employment and Women Michaelia Cash, Opposition Leader in the Senate Penny Wong, radio broadcaster Alan Jones and media personality Josh Zepps.
The panel got together on the eve of International Women’s Day to talk about everything from Niki Savva’s controversial new book to feminism, with Alan Jones saying he was a feminist.
1. Will we ever get to a place where a powerful woman will be judged solely on her performance?
Mia Freedman: “He (Abbott) was involved in a relationship that was so… codependent that it really did seem to affect his judgement.”
“That was not the crux of the problem. The problem was that they both (Abbott and Credlin) seemed to believe that he was unable to govern without her.”
Alan Jones: “It does seem that some people are very uncomfortable with powerful women. Those who know her (Credlin) know she is a woman of ability.”
Penny Wong: “My views about Tony Abbott and his government is that there was obviously dysfunction in the heart of the prime minister’s office.”
Michaelia Cash: “I prefer to focus on what we’re going to do going forward. I certainly do believe that there is a place for formidable women…. I think we can all agree that there should be more women in leadership positions across that country and that’s what we should be focusing on.”
“I’m not going to comment on commentary.”
2. Should George Pell be removed from his position in the church?
Alan Jones: “A fairly unfortunate focus on Pell, in that he was 28-years-of-age at the time.”
Mia Freedman: “For survivors, we expect from our religious leadership some leadership, some empathy and understanding.
“I was struck of the lack of compassion, understanding, sensitivity, humanity, of George Pell… It was flabbergasting to see his complete lack of understanding.”
Michaelia Cash: “Despite what he may or may not have known, it is the way he has approached the victims of the royal commission.”
Alan Jones: “We have to remember that they don’t ask us what we were up to at 28.”
Penny Wong: “There is a sense of avoidance of responsibility.”
3. Aboriginal children and reconciliation.
Alan Jones: “I believe we’ve got a n obligation to say these children deserve a second chance. We’ve got to understand that many of these children were taken away for their betterment.”