Women should 'work that little bit harder': Senator Jane Hume

Women should ‘work that little bit harder’: Senator Jane Hume

Liberal MP Jane Hume finds the idea of being part of a minority group as a woman as ‘patronising’.

Unfortunately it was her next comment on the ABC’s Q&A program last night that was really patronising.

In answering questions about the dismal number of women represented in the Liberal Party, she rejected the idea of quotas, saying women have to work harder.

“For women that don’t get there, the trick is to work that little bit harder. Don’t get bitter. Get better. Work harder. Nothing that is worth getting doesn’t come without hard work.”

Just get better.

There’s your inspirational quote for the day!

“As a woman we are 50% of the population,” Hume said. “We are not a minority and I really dislike bing patronised as if I am a minority.

“We are capable of anything but we are entitled to nothing. We have to work for what we want.”

Asked if she was against quotas because she knew such a move would never get past the men in her party, Hume said no, that’s not the reason at all.

Responding from the panel, author Randa Abdel-Fattah asked if Sarah Ador Loi, an earlier questioner on the program who is an African migrant living in Melbourne, “Had just as much chance to get into parliament as somebody who goes to a private school in Toorak? Does she have the same connections and networks and start with the same family?”

Senator Hume told Sarah that if she wants to join the Liberal Party (and obviously work really, really hard) then she will ensure she is looked after, well-mentored and that “we’ll get you there in the end.”

“Spoken like a white female politician,” Abdel-Fattah responded.

And not patronising at all.

A quota like system in the Labor party has seen it reach 45% female representation.

Labor MP Julie Collins said on Q&A that means women are now at the table making policy decisions.

“I start from the position that men and women are born with an equal mount of merit, why don’t we have the same number of women in parliament as men? Because we have a structural problem. How do you overcome the structural overcome? You have to intervene and use an intervention.”

Randa Abdel-Fattah said that it’s not just about women: “Women are capable of being just as cruel as men. What is important is we look at who is in our Parliament and does it represent our populations

“[We need to] shift the debate away from mainstream white feminism.”

Meanwhile ethicist Peter Singer added that no one really believes that parliamentary preselections are actually based on merit. “And if they don’t, then it’s reasonable to say we want something more representative.”

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