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110th anniversary of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902

Tuesday 12 June 2012 marks the 110th anniversary of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, the law that granted most Australian women the right to vote, and therefore to stand, in Commonwealth elections. The Act stated that ‘all persons not under twenty-one years of age whether male or female married or unmarried’ would be entitled to vote in Commonwealth elections. It excluded Indigenous men and women, unless they were eligible to vote under state laws in accordance with Section 41 of the Australian Constitution. Across Australia, women voted for the first time in the second Commonwealth election held on 16 December 1903. Women in South Australia (who were granted voting rights in 1895) and W... Read more...

Women in Australian Parliaments

  A new Background Note, Representation of Women in Australian Parliaments, published by the Parliamentary Library to coincide with International Women's Day, reveals that there are currently more women parliamentarians in the Senate than at any other time since Federation. However, despite occupying several high-profile roles, women are still significantly under-represented in Australian parliaments, comprising less than one-third of all parliamentarians and occupying less than one-quarter of all ministry positions. In addition, whilst the number of women in the Senate reached its highest point after the 2010 Commonwealth election, the number of women in the House of Representatives dec... Read more...

International Women's Day

Women all over the world have used International Women’s Day, March the 8th, to campaign about issues relevant to their local needs – from gender equity in the workplace to ending poverty and violence against women. Last year marked 100 years of the day’s fascinating and varied history. International Women’s Day continues to celebrate the great achievements of women, and turn our attention to the problems still faced by women.While in Australia and other Western countries International Women’s Day is usually associated with the United Nations and human rights discourse, women’s day celebrations have a more complicated history. From distinctly socialist beginnings, through expansion across co... Read more...

A bigger cabinet and more women in it

 The new ministry to be sworn in today, with 22 cabinet members, is the largest cabinet since the second and third Whitlam Ministries (1972–75). When the Second Whitlam Ministry was sworn in, all 27 members of the ministry sat as members of the cabinet. During this period, and also between 1901 and 1956, there was no ‘inner cabinet’. The inner cabinet system was formally adopted by the Menzies Government on 11 January 1956 and has characterised all Governments since, with the exception of the Whitlam Government.The other notable feature of the new ministry is its record number of five female cabinet ministers.The first woman to serve as a cabinet member was Enid Lyons (who was also the fir... Read more...

PNG parliament votes to allow reserved seats for women

.js table tbody .even th, .js table tbody .even td { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #ffffff } #tableheader { border-color:#4F81BC; border-spacing: 0; border-style: solid; border-width: .1pt; background-color:#4F81BC !important; color:#FFFFFF; } #table1 { border-collapse: collapse; border-bottom-width:thin; border-style: solid; border-left-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-top-width:0px; border-color: #4F81BC; } #table1 td, #table1 th { border-width: .1pt; border-style: solid; border-spacing: 0; border-collapse:separate; border-color: #4F81BC; } .headershading { background-color:#4F81BC !important; }  In a historic vote, the Parliament of Papua N... Read more...

White Ribbon Day

The 25th of November is White Ribbon Day. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the White Ribbon Campaign, which aims to prevent violence against women and to create positive role models for men and boys. White Ribbon Campaign co-founder, Michael Kaufman explains that: Wearing the ribbon is a public pledge never to commit, condone, nor remain silent about violence against women, and it is a call on governments and all institutions controlled by men to seriously address the issue.This approach is based on the premise that men can play a positive role in helping to stop violence against women, and builds on the fact that most men are not violent. While men have a long history of involvement ... Read more...

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