Prime minister Scott Morrison has used his International Women's Day speech to say women should "rise" but not "on the basis of others doing worse".
"See, we’re not about setting Australians against each other, trying to push some down to lift others up," Morrison said at an International Women's Day breakfast at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy in Western Australia on Friday.
"That’s not in our values. That is an absolutely Liberal value, that you don’t push some people down to lift some people up. And that is true about gender equality too."
Morrison said he wanted to see women "rise".
"But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse," he said.
We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country be accelerated to ensure that their overall pace is maintained."
For his daughters to have "all the choices in life" that he, and his wife Jenny, wanted for them, "our economy has to be strong".
Deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek said gender equality was "good for both women and men".
"It gives all of us more freedom and choice at work, at home, and in our relationships," Plibersek said in a statement to BuzzFeed News.
"Feminism is a fight for equality between men and women, what’s so complicated about that?"
An original version of this article quoted Morrison as saying: "We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country to be accelerated to ensure that their overall place is maintained.”
A transcript of his speech published on the prime minister's website shows he said: "We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country be accelerated to ensure that their overall pace is maintained."
Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.
Contact Gina Rushton at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.