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Where are the women?

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Wed, 27th February 2008 WHERE ARE THE WOMEN?

The Hon Sussan Ley MP Shadow Minister for Housing, Status of Women

Shadow Minister for Women, Sussan Ley has expressed disappointment but not surprise over the lack of women representatives announced by the Prime Minister on the steering committee for the Labor Government's 2020 Summit.

Ms Ley said it is not enough to claim that female MPs are co-chairing the sessions.

''That is simply a moderating role; the bright ideas are supposed to come from outside the Parliament,'' she said.

''Did it not occur to Mr Rudd that we have brilliant accomplished and competent women who should be appointed to leadership positions in the 2020 Summit?'' she said.

''Following a damning report on the lack of gender equality in the salaries of our top CEO's, Mr Rudd is sending a clear message to corporate Australia, that there is no need to change,'' Ms Ley said.

''A recent report from the Australian Government revealed that women held just 7% of the Top Earner positions and that female financial officers earn just half the wage of their male counterparts.

''Now the Rudd Government is enforcing the message that women, while they may be good contributors, are not really leadership material ? that needs to be left to the men.

''So far I have seen no indication from Mr Rudd's Government as to how they intend to address issues such as the lack of women on boards, lack of women's input into high level decision making in this country,'' Ms Ley said.