Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has waded into Australia’s bitter gender debate raging around Premier Julia Gillard by stating that his successor might be a woman as women have all leadership qualities.

“If the circumstances are such that a female Dalai Lama is more useful, then automatically a female Dalai Lama will come,” the Dalai Lama told reporters ahead of a 10-day tour of Australia.

The Nobel Peace laureate is scheduled to speak in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin.

Asked about the gender war reignited by Ms. Gillard, the 77-year-old monk said the world was facing a “moral crisis” of inequality and suffering and needed leaders who could bring compassion to their post.

“In that respect, biologically, females have more potential. Females have more sensitivity about others’ wellbeing,” the Dalai Lama was quoted as saying by AAP.

His comments come in the aftermath of a controversy sparked by Tony Abbott, an Opposition leader who used “grossly sexist and offensive” words to describe Ms. Gillard’s body at a party fundraiser menu.

Ms. Gillard has demanded the political scalp of Liberal candidate Mal Brough over the controversial menu.