Country Women’s Association calls out misogynistic behaviour in federal politics – Politics
The culture within the National Party, which has two women in its federal ranks, doesn’t favour good behaviour, says the CWA. (ABC News: Matt Roberts)
The Country Women’s Association (CWA) has criticised the state of Australian politics, calling for an end to misogynistic behaviour before next year’s election.
- Country Women’s Association says politics is misogynistic
- CWA calls for improved behaviour across major parties
- It says National Party culture does not favour women
The comments come as the political year ends having been marred by multiple sex scandals, one of which prompted the former prime minister to ban his ministry from sleeping with their staff.
“Most of our members are very disappointed,” CWA president Tanya Cameron said.
“As president of a long-standing organisation that has maintained its credibility because of its conservative approach and ethical and moral standards, we are quite appalled at some of the behaviour within politics.”
Just days after it was revealed a Nationals’ staffer had sent offensive text messages to a female journalist, Nationals MP Andrew Broad announced he would not contest next year’s election amid allegations the married MP had used a sugar daddy website to wine and dine a younger woman.
Deputy leader of the Nationals, Senator Bridget McKenzie said Mr Broad’s behaviour was not reflective of the party.
“It’s been disappointing and not reflective of the National Party members and senators, and indeed our membership expectations or the broader community,” Ms McKenzie said.
“So I think Andrew Broad made the right decision to resign from the ministry and to retire at the next election and to focus on his family.”
Earlier this year, Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce was removed as deputy prime minister and leader of the Nationals when it was revealed he and his former staffer were expecting a baby.
“There appears to be a culture within the National Party that certainly doesn’t favour women and certainly doesn’t favour good behaviour,” Ms Cameron said.
“I think there are some big changes that need to be made before the voters will have any confidence, going forward.”
But Ms Cameron was reluctant to point the finger just at the National Party.
“The misogynistic attitude needs to stop and it needs to stop very quickly; it needs to be changed,” she said.
“There certainly seems to be a lot of issues [across the political parties] and there needs to be some big changes made for anyone to have confidence going forward, voting for any party to be honest.”
“A lot of our members are questioning how they will go the polls.”
Ms Cameron said voters were “over the lack of vision and the lack of commitment to governing the country in the way it should be governed” and called for politicians’ personal lives to be left off the political agenda.
“As a non-party-political organisation, we have a lot of members from a broad church, we can’t make political statements but I certainly think there is a lot of gain and interest in a lift in behaviour across the board.”
Earlier this year the CWA said that women should not be used as pawns in the political debate.