Oh goodness, help us all. As if it isn't bad enough the man is the PM! A woman should certainly hold this position, if not, then I would be happy enough for almostl anyone but Abbot to head this ministry.
Whatever is on a PM's portfolio itself is too big for a PM to handle, so in my opinion, a PM shouldn't try biting more than he/she can chew.
To the question of whether the Minister for Women should be a male or female: My question is why should the position be called "Minister for Women?".. it should be gender neutral, like a "Minister for health and wellbeing" or any name, creating a new portfolio isn't hard anyway. I agree that if we compute how many people require a voice or help, Women's need for support outranks Men's but the portfolio should be a common one with different sections.
Then, coming to the Ministers themselves - I've seen many instances where men (My Dad, Brother / my sisters' husbands) have been very understanding of women's physical, mental and psychological troubles and have been the strength that they needed to succeed. And how many instances have we observed where certain women fail or don't want to identify or understand the issues faced by other women? At my workplace I observe abysmal levels of tolerance between women towards a female colleague suffering from say menstrual issues or domestic unhappiness.
Hence, It doesn't matter about the gender of the Minister but about the positive attitude, understanding, general knowledge, willingness to learn and unbiased level-headed handling of issues combined with the ability to listen and communicate that you're able to bring with you than anything else.
It's not easy to locate such a person readily in both sexes, so we will have to employ all methods like in recruitment (incl. psycho-social analysis) or wait and watch and/or burn our fingers a few times until we find the right candidate!
Gender neutral assumes that everyone is male, no such thing as gender neutral exists in our culture. Whenever someone says gender neutral it basically makes women and the issues which exist solely in our lives (huge rates of domestic violence, an out of control caesarean rate, rape, homelessness for women with children etc) invisible. It says "suck it up, there's no gender, so what are you complaining about?"
And before you say "but all those things happen to men too". No they don't. Men aren't getting cut open at a rate of 33% in order to give birth. That's not happening to men. As for domestic violence, rape, and homelessness ..... when those things happen to men they are predominantly the victim of OTHER MEN. So perhaps we need a minister for men who will start locking up these vile offenders.
Gender neutral is the result of patriarchy trying to placate feminists and draw attention back onto men.
I didnt know he was that!
Probably should be a woman who holds this position as after all, women tend to understand women better than men.
However, I do not know what he does in this capacity, so it could be OK
If Julia Gillard had remained PM, then she could have been the Minister for Women. But Tony Abbott = NO WAY.
You would be hard put to get anything out of him, particularly if you were not a virgin (and preferably wearing white 7 days a week).
It is an embarrassment for PM Abbott to appoint himself to this role and of course, it is really meant to be a slap in the face for all women but mainly Julia Gillard. His self appointment is also an embarrassment to blokes - you only have to see them on interview or questioning on the subject and they get all evasive and/or giggly. I can just imagine the talk on this subject when the blue tie brigade are together, in a back room. Wake Up Women, your faces have been slapped.
Sure - as long as the minister for men should be a man. Oh - wait, that's right, there is no such thing as a minister for men, even though many men would like to be stay at home dads etc.... Why isn't there affirmative action for men who want to be house hubbies, or scholarships for men to study to become carers or in other lower-paid professions? We need more women in leadership roles and they're over-represented in underpaid roles, so why don't we spend more encouraging men to take up the lower-paid roles? Are the lower paid roles less important?? I'd say they're more important. Why is there significantly more funding for women's health than for men's health? I know I'd stay at home more if we could afford it.
Yes I believe that the minister for women should be a woman for the same reason a minister for men should be a man, but I think more understanding BETWEEN the sexes would be even better. We are different, but of equal value, as I see it.
It should be a woman otherwise yet again it is just another bunch of words with no action or meaning. Not that one senior woman means govt policy is focussed on gender or women's affairs but neither does an all man team that says it is gender inclusive. The govt needs to show that it is positioning women and women's affairs at the highest levels of decision making and if they cannot get organised enough to have a women leader as spokesperson for those message is a bit rubbish. To not even symbolically have a women in the position of Minister for Women's Affairs makes a mockery of the whole political structure at present. The guy does not even engender his speeches, or his 'people' do not even do that for him, so its a joke....