It’s my absolute great pleasure to celebrate International Women’s Day with you all this morning.
I would like to acknowledge the United Nations for the tremendous work they do in empowering women and girls across the globe to access quality health services and education, and to help raise families out of poverty.
And not least of all for hosting this breakfast every year to mark International Women’s Day.
When I look around this room, I know I’m in great company.
When women support each other and are supported and respected in general – incredible things can happen.
This year’s theme reminds us: We’re More Powerful Together.
While everyone in this room will agree – we’ve come a long way in the last century, I think we can also all agree – there is still a long way to go.
One of the challenges we face is getting more women into politics.
You can’t be what you can’t see, which makes having women leaders – in the community, in business and in politics – so very important.
If you count the proportion of women in political life and compare it across 193 countries Australia was ranked 20th in 2001.
We slipped to 40th in 2014.
Last year we were 50th.
That’s not progress. In fact, that’s going backwards.
I believe the best person should get the job regardless of gender but the disproportionate number of men in leadership roles shows women are not getting a fair go.
You will have noticed that there are a number of federal government politicians retiring at the next election.
At last count it was 13.
Including Julie Bishop.
21 years in parliament, six as Foreign Minister.
Chaired the United Nations Security Council and was Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.
I have personally met Julie Bishop, I have admired the way she has conducted herself on the world stage.
But how was Julie Bishop’s resignation treated?
“Sometimes the simple addition of a killer high heel and a fresh manicure can make wading through the madness just that little bit easier.”
The Prime Minister, in responding to her announcement, said her successor ‘will have big shoes to fill, and we all know Julie has the best shoes in Parliament’.
Let me say to each and everyone of you here today.
It’s not what shoes you stand in.
It’s what you, as an individual, stand for.
And what we stand for - we must fight for. And when we do so, we are more powerful together.
I stand for equality.
I stand for treating people with respect.
I stand for equal pay.
I stand for good quality access to health and education services.
I stand for empowering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women here in Queensland.
There are 50 per cent women in my cabinet because I believe we must set the example and lead by example.
There is no excuse for not having 50 per cent of women in every single level of government across Australia.
We are making progress in Queensland. We have a Women’s Strategy about participation and leadership; economic security; safety; and health and wellbeing.
At the moment we have 47 per cent of women on boards. Our aim is to have 50 per cent of women on government boards by 2020.
Fifty per cent of Queensland Police Service recruits for the last years have been women.
Just yesterday, we welcomed the highest intake of female recruit firefighters in Queensland Fire and Emergency Service history.
Three thousand women are in Queensland hospitals training to be doctors.
The tide is turning and progress is happening.
I know how much we all love our sport as well.
Equality is the right to say to your daughter
- you can play cricket.
- Or Rugby
- Baseball or
That is why we built a brand new $44 million netball centre at Nathan, the first time in the history of Queensland that women’s sport has been front and centre.
That is why we have invested $15 million for female facilities for sport, so women and girls can have their own change rooms.
This is change for the better.
This is what we stand for.
I can’t think of a moment in history when we have been more empowered.
Perhaps because we are speaking with the same voice.
When women and girls stand united, our voice is powerful.
Our voice is strong.
We are more powerful together.
As a government we are confronting the issues. As a state we are confronting the issues.
We have brought domestic and family violence issues out from behind closed doors.
We have asked mothers and fathers to sit down with their children and talk about the issues confronting them around cyberbullying, the first state in the nation to do so.
We are encouraging more girls to study - science, technology, maths, robotics. We are teaching coding in primary schools, so our young people get the very best start in life.
I stand for making sure our young girls in Queensland, our young women in Queensland can get the best start.
We firmly believe that together we are more powerful, that any young girl, any young woman in this state can reach their full potential because together we are so much stronger, together we are so much more powerful.
I hope you will all stand with me as we continue to empower women across our state, not just now but for generations to come.
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk