The Women for Election Australia Parliamentary Friendship Groupis a non-partisan initiative, to redress the gender imbalance in political representation across all of Australia’s parliamentary chambers; from Canberra to our local council chambers. This group will bring together female and male champions from across party lines and states to show support for the work WFEA is doing out in the community

Kristy McBain MP, Member for Eden-Monaro, for the Australian Labor Party and Co-Chair of our Parliamentary Friendship Group, answered a few key questions about being a woman in Australian politics.

How did your political journey start?

What do you want to achieve by being a founding member of the Parliamentary Friends of Women for Election Australia?

As a woman, what is the worst misogyny you have faced in your career (be it political or otherwise)?

Not long after I got elected as mayor, I attended the Country Mayor’s Association. So obviously mayor’s from right around regional New South Wales. And I walked in with my new badge on and I was chatting to another local mayor. And he said to me, which council you from? So I told him and then he said, and what do you do there? Because clearly I couldn’t have been the mayor from that Council. So that was kind of an eye opener for me. That even though I was at a Country Mayor’s Association meeting, there was still the assumption that I wasn’t the mayor from my area. So that was surprising.

What would you change for women who want to run for public office in Australia?

I think things are changing. And that’s because there are more women running for public office right across Australia and across different levels of government. I think the thing that we all have to be mindful of that perhaps we do things in our everyday lives that make it more difficult for women. The discussion about what we’re wearing, what we look like, what your hair is doing that day, child caring responsibilities. It’s incumbent upon us to normalise these things in terms of commenting on a bloke’s suit for a change and comment on the bloke’s child care responsibilities as well. Because these issues aren’t women’s issues alone.

We look forward to future events with our Parliamentary Friendship Group and sharing with you the outcomes of our collaborative work. Stay tuned for future profiles and updates!
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