A sexist beard of a senior Western Australian labor minister copped in parliament this week shows that male and female politicians operate on different playing fields, the boss of Australia’s leading political gender diversity organization has said.
WA Liberal leader David Honey, while criticizing Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson over her government’s handling of the Communities Department, said she was more worried about fashion than her job.
Ms Sanderson had just intervened during Mr Honey‘s speech on Wednesday evening.
“Your goodness, Mr. Minister! Who am I patronizing? Parliamentary Hansard recorded him replying.
“I will patronize you, Minister; a minister who cares more about fashion than doing her job in health!
Acting President Alison Kent asked Dr Honey to retract the remark, which he did. Shortly after, he apologized.
“Sometimes in the heat of the moment people say things in debate. I retracted that comment and apologize to you, Minister, for making that comment. It was an inappropriate comment,” he said.
“But what I won’t take back is the criticism of this minister, the minister for child protection and the minister for police because you haven’t done your job.”
But Women for Election chief executive Licia Heath said the fashion comments were an inescapable criticism of women in politics that happened too often.