Are there enough women representatives in the Australian federal parliament?

Oct 18
Author:Ash Natesh
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The Liberal Party has been facing a serious ‘woman problem’. The lack of women representation has dropped since 1996, with women making up just 22 percent of Liberals in federal parliament and for Labor, it is 45 percent.

The lower representation of women in the Liberal Party is dragging down the International image of Australia. Australia ranks 50th in the world for female representation, between the Philippines and South Sudan.

Source: ABC News

Senator Hume from the Liberal Party spent 20 years in the financial services sector before stepping into politics. She said to the ABC, “evening up the gender representation is not about appearance or ‘ethical window-dressing’, it’s a business strategy for winning”.

Since 2001, the number of female Liberal representatives has been falling, which has directly impacted on the number of women voting for the party.

The key reason for this decline is the lack of role models among social progress.

When The Hon Julia Gillard AC became prime minister, Labor’s female votes increased by 7 percent. Though women make up half the population, the Liberal Party is flooded by men.

Senator Reynolds, from the Liberal party, says “she and her female colleagues have a ‘personal responsibility’ to drive cultural change through the party and get more women into parliament” (ABC News).

Just 18 of the total 84 Liberal MP’s and senators in Parliament are women, the party’s lowest since 1993.

What is the solution to this problem?

The problem is, men are much more likely to win pre-elections for secured Liberal seats.

How can this be fixed? The Labor party has set separate Quotas since 1994 to bridge the gap between the gender differences.

The ALP-aligned Emily’s List was set up to recognise potential female candidates and encourage them to run for politics.

There are quotas available in the federal executive level and there is also an informal quota to decide the number of Liberals and Nationals in the forefront.

But if they are serious about the issue, the MP’s realised that they need to actively train and encourage future female politicians. This goes for both men and women in the party.

Senator Reynolds says without a male mentor, she would not be in Parliament and probably would not have been a brigadier in the Army either  (ABC News).

Learn practical strategies to become a resilient leader and lead with impact, spot new opportunities in an evolving public sector workforce and work with men to prioritise gender equality from federal Leaders like Lucy Turnbull AO at the 7th National Public Sector Women in Leadership Conference, 19th – 22nd November 2018, Canberra.


Submitted by Ash Natesh

Ash Natesh

Ash is the Content Marketer at Criterion Conferences. Writing and sourcing content is all part of her day to day routine. She can’t stop drinking coffee, other than coffee her interests lie in Music, long walks amidst the mountains, Dance, Anime, Science Fiction and all things nerdy!

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