Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly shown a lack of commitment to ensuring respect, safety and equity for all women in the workplace.
It’s shown in large ways and small: “We both respect females in the workplace …” Morrison said at a forum – not only a jarring reference to “females in the workforce”, as if working women are some form of rare species, but also creating another falsehood by wrongly co-opting Albanese, who, based on my experience and that of countless others who have either met or worked with both men, is a decent and respectful man.
I‘d never met Gillard, so I lined up in the queue after the unveiling.
The cameras were clicking furiously, and I knew the microphones would be on. So, when it came my turn, I whispered quietly so that only she could hear, and thanked her for ‘everything she had done for women’.
Obviously aware it had been a stressful time for me, she warmly whispered back while we were still shaking hands, “you know how to get my number – if you want a confidential chat”.
Despite the difference in our political status – and our politics – I saw it as a shared connection of mutual respect. And it was such a warm and embracing gesture – one which I shall never forget – from a former prime minister for whom I shall have enduring respect.