Gender still an issue for Australia says Shorten

GENDER is still an issue for mainstream Australia, Workplace Minister Bill Shorten has told ABC's Insiders program.

His comments yesterday came after weeks of discussion in political circles about the "gender wars" and Prime Minister Julia Gillard's historic "misogyny speech".

Mr Shorten said while progress had been made for the equal treatment of women, more could be done.

"The fact is there's still a gap in the income, the average income that women earn as opposed to men," he told host Barrie Cassidy.

"It shouldn't be an issue but it is. And even now, in our enlightened age, if we think that women are always treated equally to men, well they're not.

"And it is a mainstream issue. What can be wrong with debating in our national politics the idea that women and men should be treated the same?"

Topics:  bill shorten gender equality julia gillard misogyny

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