'The problem' - a snapshot for those in a hurry... 

IN THE 2016 AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL ELECTION, WHEN COMPARED TO THE 2013 ELECTION, JUST THREE MORE WOMEN WERE ELECTED TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES (43/150 - 28.7%) AND ONE MORE WOMAN TO THE SENATE (31/76 - 40.8%).   

AUSTRALIA is IN 50TH PLACE GLOBALLY ON GENDER EQUITY IN THE LOWER HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT USING THE INTER-PARLIAMENTARY UNION REPORT (1/3/17).

The replacement of Senator Bob Day by Lucy Gichuhi changes the Senate gender balance to 32/76

Sydney Morning Herald graphic (25 August 2016) - Stephanie Peatling 2016, Female Labor MPs outnumber Liberal women two to one in new Parliament Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald graphic (20 April 2016) - gender representation at management level

and for those who like the world reduced to three word slogans on campaign badges...

In less of a hurry but with not much time to spare? This is our top-5 pitch... 

  1. Women make up just over half the population but less than one third of the seats in parliament
  2. Democracy requires equal representation of women and men
  3. One-member electorates disadvantage women and minority groups, and transfer power to the political parties
  4. Party quota systems for one-person electorates are not enough
  5. The federal Electoral Act can be amended to provide for a male and a female representative per electorate - with the number of electorates cut in half to keep the parliament at the same size. This is a simple adaptation of proportional representation

Some more time? This is our next best-5 pitch... 

  1. Australia's historic early lead on women's suffrage is diminished by delays and racist exclusions
  2. The time taken for a woman to be elected to parliament in South Australia - where the right to do so was first recognised in Australia - was 65 years - the typical span from birth to pension age for a man. In the federal parliament it took over 40 years
  3. In the federal parliament the number of seats gained by women have been little more than the seats added for population growth and it took 90 years for women to hold more than 10% of seats
  4. A fundamental shift is required to make 50-50 the norm
  5. Australia can take a lead in the global adoption of 50:50 representation. This must happen, can happen and will happen. Will you be one to take a stand so women can take their seats?

 

Democracy demands balanced gender representation

 

In Australia women still do not have an equal voice in government.

This is a global problem with just Rwanda and Bolivia having more women than men in a national parliament. 

We advocate for equal gender representation in parliament as a democratic right.

The following options are open to debate.

Possible options for achieving 50:50

Within the party system

  1. Change party culture to endorse more female candidates
  2. Rely on parties to separately introduce formal policies to endorse female candidates for winnable seats
  3. Develop all party support for a common but flexible strategic framework to achieve 50:50

By changing the electoral law

  1. Create larger two-person electorates for the House of Representatives with a male and a female representative elected in each
  2. Split the Senate seats evenly into dedicated male and female seats

By addressing broader cultural & other impediments

  1. Follow multiple strategies to reduce or remove negative factors that inhibit female participation in political life
  2. Create incentives and positive ways to encourage female participation in political life
...feminism by definition is: “The belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. It is the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.”
— Emma Watson 2014 UN launch of Heforshe

Find out how you can help.

 

About

Find out about the people behind this site and the issue of equal gender representation.


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Acknowledgements

Site launched 17 February 2016 

Some images courtesy of Unsplash.com

Anti-suffrage posters courtesy of:

Palczewski Suffrage Postcard Archive

&

The Suffrage Postcard Project, accessed February 17, 2016, https://thesuffragepostcardproject.omeka.net 

These anti-suffrage posters are used to illustrate the arguments and stereotypes once used in an attempt to deny the vote.

Similar nonsense (like arguments about merit) face the campaign to achieve equal representation.  

 

Free e-card

Our postcard can be sent for free as an ecard from this site.

 


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Blog and news posts for Australia - see blog pages for more regions