Gender equity by 2064!

In the last House of Representatives in Australia, there were 40 women and 110 men. This means that women comprised 26.6% of MPs in the old House.

The results of the 2016 Federal election are nearly in. There are still six seats in doubt as at 9 July - a week after the election.

Women have won in 41 of the 144 seats won, or predicted to be won, so far.

To calculate the final number of women we look at gender in the seats where the result are still in doubt:

  • one involves a contest between two female candidates - so the seat will go to a woman
  • three involve contests between two male candidates - so these seats will go to a man
  • two more involve a contest between a male and a female candidate - so the gender outcome remains 'up in the air'

We add the seat that is now down to a contest between two females and we know that the number of women in the new house will be 42. This result would mean that:

  • the percentage of women in the House of Representatives will be 28 percent
  • this is an increase of 1.4 percent on the old house
  • at the rate of two more women per election, and assuming a regular election cycle of 3 years, the parliament will be just one female member away from gender balance in 48 years - that is 2064.

The contest in the two seats left where either a male or a female candidate could win means that the maximum number of women elected to the House of Representatives could be 44. If that happens the result would be:

  • the number of women in the House of Representatives will be 44
  • this would be 29.3 percent 
  • this is an increase of 2.7 percent on the old house
  • at the rate of four more per election we will be one seat away from gender equity by 2040.

The gender split, by party, in the 2016 House of Representatives election result is:

Known or predicted outcome seats:

  • ALP 27 F - 40 M
  • LIB 12 F - 50 M 
  • NAT 0 F - 10 M
  • INDEPENDENTS 2 F - 3 M

Doubtful seats:

  • Down to two female candidates - 1
  • Down to two male candidates - 3
  • Down to a contest between one male and one female candidate - 2