ABC has come under fire for tokenism after announcing it will take all male hosts of the air for International Women’s Day.
The national broadcaster will use solely women presenters across their radio and television programs, removing high-profile hosts like Mark Colvin, Richard Glover and Michael Rowland from their regular roles.
The move has been labelled tokenistic by commentators and politicians who are questioning the ABC’s lack of females permanently hosting.
Peta Credlin, who co-hosts an all-female show with Kristina Keneally, told the Daily Telegraph, "This is nothing more than a token gesture by the ultimate organisation of tokenism, the ABC."
"Where’s their commitment to women over the other 364 days of the year? Surely we want the best in the media all day every day, be it men or women," she said.
This sentiment has been echoed by Sky News political reporter Laura Jeyes.
“The ABC should do something more permanent if they really believe in it, it shouldn’t be a token one-day event.”
In a statement, the ABC said it wanted to "reflect the day’s theme of #BeBoldForChange and focus on the need for change and gender equality in all communities".
"ABC Radio will also showcase the extraordinary breadth of female broadcasting and creative talent with all-women presenters on all networks, while special content through the day explores the need for change and gender equality."
However, former ABC chairman Maurice Newman also said the act was “tokenism” and criticised the broadcaster for “getting further and further into victimhood and division”.
A spokesperson from ABC told 9Honey, "There are many high-profile female broadcasters, journalists and content-makers on and off air across all ABC platforms and services, every day of the year.
“However, this is a valuable opportunity to celebrate their achievements publicly, and for the ABC to use its position as a public broadcaster to continue the conversation about gender issues and to raise awareness about the gender imbalance."
"International Women’s Day is an opportunity for the ABC to draw attention to one of the great issues of the modern age."
Host of radio program Drive, Richard Glover, doesn’t seem too worried by claims that the men will be ‘banned’ from a day of hosting.
Co-host of ABC News Breakfast Virginia Trioli is yet to comment on the controversy, but she has tweeted about the gender imbalance in media before.
Maybe the female presenters at the ABC can join the Day Without Women strike and watch the crash and burn without them instead..? Just a suggestion.