Women and politics in Australia

Post-election update here http://www.democracy5050.com/new-blog/2016/7/4/modest-gains-for-women-in-election

An article in the Guardian Australia in January 2016 drew attention to women and politics in Australia.

15 January 2016


Malcolm Turnbull was applauded last September for slightly redressing the appalling gender imbalance presided over by his predecessor, and we now have five women in federal cabinet, instead of one.
He said at the time that in an “ideal world” we would have 50/50 men and women in parliament and that he hoped the promotion of more women to cabinet would inspire more women to join at the grass roots level. He has talked up a storm in matters regarding respect of women, saying need a “cultural shift” in relation to violence against women, that violence against women comes from gender inequality, and that he wants Australia to be known as a culture that respects women.
But you don’t just tell people to respect women, you show that you respect women. It’s not just talking about how much you love and respect your wife, or, in the case of all the Tony Abbott apologists, how he’s surrounded by strong women. Big deal. We’re all surrounded by strong women, and we want to see them in positions of power.
This is not for the sake of power itself, but for the sake of conspicuous equality and the trickle down effect it would have on all sectors of this country’s culture and society – in our homes and in our workplaces.
We don’t want a culture of respect bestowed by men upon women, something granted by grand patriarchal decree. If our parliament is to be held to a higher standard than the rest of society, as Turnbull said during the Briggs affair, then his hopes for an ideal world must start there, and now.
What we must have, first and foremost, is a culture of parity – equal numbers of women and men in positions of power and leadership, with both parties now setting a top-down example by systematically promoting women to positions of power, from grassroots pre-selection to federal cabinet and all levels in between.
Equality first, then respect. If you start with one, the other naturally follows.