Prime Minister Scott Morrison says women's success shouldn't come at the expense of others.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he wants to see women rise, but not if it leaves men worse off.
In an International Women's Day address in Perth, Mr Morrison referenced the Minister for Women Kelly O'Dwyer's previous comments on gender equality when she rejected the idea that "girls doing well must mean that boys do badly".
"See, we're not about setting Australians against each other, trying to push some down to lift others up," Mr Morrison told the Chamber of Minerals and Energy.
"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.
"We want to see women rise. But we don't want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse."
In response, Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek said gender equality was good for both women and men.
"Feminism is a fight for equality between men and women, what's so complicated about that?"
The prime minister told the room of mostly women that boosting the economy was key to gender equality to ensure that everybody does better.
The Coalition government has been criticised for its low numbers of women in Parliament.
Out of the Liberal Party's 106 seats in federal parliament, just 19 are held by women. By contrast, women make up nearly half of Labor’s federal politicians.
But Mr Morrison has denied his party has a "women problem" pointing to the appointment of a record seventh woman to Cabinet on the weekend and the preselection of 19 women since August.