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Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament

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A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership
Ints Vikmanis / Shutterstock.com

A snapshot of current trends for women in leadership

The recent decision by Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to appoint equal numbers of men and women to his cabinet made headlines around the world. The issue of gender representation has also been prominent in Australia this year, with the debate about gender equality escalating across the political divide.  Read more...

International Women's Day 2015
Image in collection of National Library of Australia : sourceWikimedia Commons

International Women's Day 2015

With the theme ‘Empowering Women – Empowering Humanity: Picture It!’, International Women’s Day 2015 was celebrated internationally on 8 March with thousands of events to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women. This Flagpost documents the current state of play of female participation in Australian state and federal politics, and how Australia compares internationally. According to Australian Parliamentary Library data (as of February 2015) Australian parliaments (Commonwealth and State) are 30.9 per cent female, compared to 29.4 per cent in February 2014. The highest proportion of women is in the Victorian Parliament, which is composed of 37.5... Read more...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (White Ribbon Day)—25 November 2014

  In December 1999, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated 25 November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in order to encourage international governments to raise public awareness of the levels of violence experienced by the world’s women. In Australia, this day is marked as White Ribbon Day by the White Ribbon campaign—a national, male-led anti-violence campaign involving various awareness raising events and programs conducted in schools, workplaces and the community. Read more...

Women in Australian parliaments

Across Australia women continue to be significantly under-represented in parliament and executive government, comprising less than one-third of all parliamentarians and one-fifth of all ministers. The Parliamentary Library has recently published an updated research paper, Representation of women in Australian parliaments 2014. It presents the latest data on women serving in Australian vice-regal, government and parliamentary leadership positions, ministries and parliamentary committees, as well as presenting an overview of female candidates in previous Commonwealth elections. Whilst the focus of the paper is on the Commonwealth Parliament, it includes comparative information about women in... Read more...

Women in Australian parliaments
By User:JimOwensPMP (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Women in Australian parliaments

A Parliamentary Library publication, Women parliamentarians in Australia 1921 ̶ 2013 written by Janet Wilson and David Black, has been updated to include women elected to federal, state and territory parliaments to 31 December 2013. Part 1 consists of tables listing all women elected to Commonwealth, State and Territory parliaments since 1921. The lists are presented in chronological order of election and include the age at which the women took their seats, their party affiliation, electoral district represented, dates of service, and the way in which their period of service ended (whether they were defeated, retired, resigned, disqualified or died). Part 1 also includes a table showing wo... Read more...

Electoral quotas for women: an international overview

Electoral quotas for women: an international overview, published by the Parliamentary Library, provides an overview of recent global trends in women’s political representation and the different types of gender quotas adopted. Drawing on recent international research, it explains the impact of electoral quotas, what influences their success, and the various arguments for and against their use. The paper also looks at electoral gender quotas in Australia, and describes the use of quota systems in other Commonwealth countries. Across the world women remain significantly under-represented in political decision-making and leadership roles. As at 1 October 2013, women occupied around one-fifth of ... Read more...

Bill to reserve seats for women passed by Samoan Parliament

The Legislative Assembly of the Samoan Parliament has voted unanimously in support of a bill to amend the Constitution to reserve five seats or 10 per cent of the 49 parliamentary seats for women electoral candidates. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, La’auli Leuatea Fosi, has called it ‘a new dawn for women’. The Constitution Amendment Act 2013 was passed by the Parliament on 24 June 2013 despite strong opposition by the Tautua Samoa party in the months leading up to the vote. Tautua Samoa had argued that the Government should seek the community’s views through a referendum and noted that, in some villages, women were not allowed to hold the title of matai (chief) which is a prerequi... Read more...

Women in the Australian workforce: A 2013 update

First observed as an international event in 1911, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated around the world on March 8 each year. Originally emerging from female labour movements in North America and Europe, female participation in politics and the workforce remains an important focus of IWD. As we celebrate IWD in 2013, this article briefly reviews current female participation in the Australian workforce. Women and Workforce Participation Female participation in the workforce has increased steadily over recent decades, growing from around 44 per cent in 1978 to 58 per cent of the female population aged 15 years and over in 2008. Since then, female participation has remained s... Read more...

International Women's Day

On Friday 8 March women around the world will celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD). IWD had its genesis in events of the early 1900s, when women in places such as Europe, North America and Australia began demanding an end to inequality, and access to equal pay, better working conditions and voting rights. As outlined by UN Women Australia:In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. The proposal received unanimous assent from over one hundred women representing seventeen countries. The very first International Women’... Read more...

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (White Ribbon Day)—25 November 2012

In 1999, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly designated 25 November as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (also marked in Australia as White Ribbon Day). Each year since then the UN has encouraged governments around the world to raise public awareness on this issue. In its anti-violence campaign fact sheet the UN points out that violence against women can take many forms (including physical, sexual, psychological and economic) and estimates that up to 70 per cent of the world’s women may experience violence in their lifetime. Certain women, such as some Indigenous women, women with disabilities, women living in poverty and women living in conflict zones... Read more...

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