Ministers statements: International Women’s Day

Ms HUTCHINS (Minister for Women) (11:05:02) — I rise to update the house on International Women’s Day around the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to women’s equity, and to remind the house of our success in achieving gender equity on paid boards across government. We are extending that achievement to apply a target of inclusiveness and equity to include the chairs of those boards from today on. Women make up half the population, and we deserve an equal seat at the table. Indeed they deserve half the seats, and under this government that is what they are going to get.

As the Minister for Women in this state I stand proud of the policies and reforms that we have made and delivered whilst in government: the $1.9 billion commitment to eradicate family violence, the rollout of family violence leave across the public service enterprise bargaining agreements, the establishment of the Equal Workplaces Advisory Council to advise us on the best ways forward to tackle equal pay for women, making local sports more accessible for women, investing in leadership programs such as the Joan Kirner leadership program, providing funding for women’s health services, and of course the jobs that we have created for women.

These things are possible because we make an effort to value women’s voices in this Parliament and certainly around our cabinet table. I will not embarrass those opposite by comparing numbers of women on this side to the numbers of women on that side, but what I will say is that the Liberals have as many members called David on their front bench as they do women.

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER — Order! The minister will come back to making her ministers statement.

Ms HUTCHINS — It is quite embarrassing —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER (11:06:59) — The member for Frankston will leave the chamber for the period of 1 hour.

Honourable member for Frankston withdrew from chamber.

Ms HUTCHINS — On International Women’s Day it is quite embarrassing, and it will not come as a shock to learn that the Leader of the Opposition is likely to miss his own targets for the number of women to be increased by 10 per cent.