Join us in conversation with Kristina Keneally and other successful women MPs’.
Breaking Through the Barriers Masterclass provides you with an opportunity to hear stories about the challenges and victories of becoming an elected member of Parliament. A chance to be inspired, to hear some of the real life stories of leadership and determination to follow a career path where women’s participation has been a roller coaster of success and achievement and of condemnation and destruction.
The Government has been rightly criticised for the small number of women in Cabinet, but the representation of women in Parliament remains an issue for all parties.
The number of women politicians in the House of Representatives stands at 43 of the 150 seats. In percentage terms, 72 percent of the House of Representatives are men.
However, the number of candidates put forward by the major parties has generally been increasing over the last decade. Cause for celebration, surely?
Well, it might be, but in real terms the number remains low. Australian women were better represented in the 2016 lower house election when, for the first time in Australian political history, the percentage of candidates who are women in the House of Representatives, or lower house, was (just) above 30 per cent. For more than two decades previously women have made up about 27 per cent of the candidates for the lower house.
Australia’s Senate has traditionally been a more attractive option for women seeking election. In the 2016 election women made up 36.2 per cent of all upper house candidates, which is roughly the same level as in the 2007 and 2010 elections.
The gender mix for candidates in the 2016 election has moved closer to parity in the Australian Greens, the Australian Labor Party at about 40% and the Liberal Party at about 27%. The Greens remain the most gender diverse of those three.
In NSW, the picture looks like this: In the Legislative Council, there are 9 women of the 42 Members (or 21.4 percent). Of the 9, there are three women from the ALP, 2 Liberal Party representatives, 2 National Party and 2 Greens representatives.
In the Legislative Assembly, there are 27 women MPs in a House of 93 Members (or 29 percent). Of these, 14 are within the Australian Labor Party, 8 represent the Liberal Party, there are 3 National Party representatives and 2 Greens.