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 CWA Calls For More Respectful Debate
Charles
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 09:31 AM
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Country Women's Association warns against using women as political pawns

The World Today
By Anna Henderson


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Photo: Rural leaders say women in the country are watching our politicians closely. (Nick Haggarty)

In the wake of a number of complaints about the treatment of women in federal politics, the Country Women's Association is calling for more respectful debate.

The organisation rarely gets political, but its president Dorothy Coombe has spoken up, arguing women should not be used as political pawns.

As president of the CWA, Ms Coombe sees herself at the forefront of work to advance the rights of women and children across the country, particularly in the bush.

Many rural leaders have expressed shock and disappointment at the handling of a sexual harassment and misconduct complaint made by prominent WA agricultural figure Catherine Marriott against former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.

Against Ms Marriott's wishes, her identity was made public.


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Photo: Catherine Marriott's complaint against Barnaby Joyce was leaked to the media. (ABC Rural: Vicky Biorac)

"What we want to make sure is that things are handled respectfully, confidentially and in a way that women feel safe, so that other women will come forward," Ms Coombe said.

"I'm hoping through these experiences, first of all that person who has been named is OK, because we get a lot of media coverage and that individual has to take the brunt of that, and in many ways she's become the face for a lot of other women."

Mr Joyce's office has labelled the complaint spurious and defamatory.

It was the last straw in his decision to resign from the Government's frontbenches and is being investigated by the National Party.

"It's really important that… parties have strong processes in which to handle these things and do the right thing by the people involved, whether it be male or female," Ms Coombe said.

This week Cabinet minister and former minister for women Michaela Cash's comments about rumours surrounding women in the Opposition Leader's office have also reverberated through Parliament.

Senator Cash has "unreservedly" withdrawn her comments, but Ms Coombe said politicians needed to learn from such mistakes.

"Take a deep breath and settle back down and learn how to handle that better in the future," she said.

"We don't want assertions on people that are unfounded, which raise negativity, which demean women across the board.

"We want people to feel the freedom to come forward themselves if they've got concerns and issues — not to be speculative or to be political pawns."

Ms Coombe said women in the country were watching closely.

Brianna Casey, another rural leader and the CEO of Foodbank, said they wanted to ensure that when people raised an issue, they could have the confidence it would be treated confidentially.

"That they're going to be treated respectfully and that we can see the process through," she said.

Ms Casey called recent events a turning point, and a chance for leadership "to make sure the processes are robust and solid."


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-02/cwa-warn-against-using-women-as-political-pawns/9502670?section=politics

I take far more notice of the CWA women than I do of strident feminists and media "personalities". The CWA reflects the pioneer spirit that woman played in building our country.

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Alicia
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 09:37 AM
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Back in the day Mum was a staunch CWA woman. The tea and scones image irritated her. I remember her saying that when the CWA spoke to government, government listened. Here, there is a revival happening, there a lot of young women joining the CWA.
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scepo
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 09:49 AM
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I've always respected the CWA.

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Flin
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 10:13 AM
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We had our wedding reception at the CWA http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/wink.gif

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charka
 Posted: Mar 3 2018, 03:51 PM
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I also respect the CWA A beacon of normality
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Bill
 Posted: Mar 4 2018, 06:23 PM
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You're in real trouble when the CWA comes out against you Michaelia. http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/lbill.gif

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Michael.W
 Posted: Mar 5 2018, 07:23 AM
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QUOTE (Bill @ Mar 4 2018, 06:23 PM)
You're in real trouble when the CWA comes out against you Michaelia.  http://fairdinkumnewschat.com/biggrin.gif  http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/lbill.gif


She should pretty well cashed up bye then Bill... http://fairdinkumnewschat.b1.jcink.com/uploads/fairdinkumnewschat/lbill.gif
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