staff gender agenda

A raft of complaints has emerged over the treatment of women journalists by the Office of the Prime Minister of Australia.

A senior male media advisor stands accused of being aggressive, rude, and threatening.

Journalist John Lyons indicates the treatment of women became an issue on the Prime Minister's 17-day trip to the US, Europe and Asia.

"As the journalists boarded the plane, the seating plan became clear: the men were in the front and the women at the back. It became a running joke through the trip."

"Things got worse during the trip. The travelling party gathered for drinks in the high commissioner's residence in London. One circle formed that consisted predominantly of men: [the Prime Minister, the senior media advisor] and several male journalists. A second, smaller circle also formed: the female reporters. For almost an hour [the Prime Minister] stood in the circle talking to the same group. An experienced press secretary would have ushered the PM to the second group. It was only as they were leaving that [a junior female media advisor] urged [the Prime Minister] towards the second group."

Lyons suggests the 28 year-old senior media advisor is "one of the most powerful men in Australia today".

Sexism can be eliminated from Offices of Prime Ministers and everywhere else in perpetuity with government comprising women's and men's legislatures presided over by an executive of elders accompanied by courts of women's and men's jurisdiction.

27 June, 2008