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Women in the ministry and shadow ministry

The recent announcements of the first Albanese ministry and the first Dutton-Littleproud shadow ministry saw both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition emphasise the number of women on their frontbenches. How much has the gender composition of the ministry and shadow ministry changed, and how significant are those changes? Read more...

The 120th anniversary of women's suffrage in Australia

Sunday 12 June 2022 marked 120 years since Australian women gained the right to vote in federal elections, following the passage of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 (Franchise Act). The Act extended the franchise to ‘persons not under twenty-one years of age whether male or female, married or unmarried’. The Act also gave women the right to stand as candidates in federal elections. With its passage, Australia became the first country in the world to give most women both the right to vote and the right to run for parliament. New Zealand women had gained the right to vote in 1893, but not the right to stand as candidates. Read more...

Trends in the gender composition of state and territory parliaments

How does the gender composition of Australian state and territory parliaments compare with that of the federal parliament? As of 1 January 2022, 39% of federal parliamentarians and 39% of state and territory parliamentarians were women. Over the past two decades, the proportion of women across state and territory parliaments has tracked closely with the proportion of women in the federal parliament. Women’s overall representation in state and territory parliaments has increased from 22% in 2001.   Read more...

Trends in the gender composition of Australian ministries

As of 1 January 2021 (the most recent figures at the time of publication), the Australian Parliament was ranked 73rd of 193 countries globally by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for women in ministerial positions in national parliaments, with women then comprising 26.7% of the ministry.  Read more...

Trends in the gender composition of the Australian parliament

How does the gender composition of the Australian parliament compare with parliaments around the world, and how has it changed over the past two decades? Read more...

International Women’s Day 2022: Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow

On Tuesday 8 March 2022 we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) with its United Nations (UN) theme of ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow’. It recognises the global contribution of women to the climate change response. Five years ago, the UN theme embodied a similar call for gender equality (‘Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030’). That theme highlighted disparities in the division of household labour as a barrier to personal economic advancement for women. Today, the messaging has a more inclusive emphasis: that gender equality can lead to an improved, more sustainable future for everyone. Read more...

Snapshot of women in the Australian workforce, 2021

This article provides a brief overview of women’s participation in the Australian workforce, providing some key rates with age breakdowns, part-time employment rates, employment status and involvement in leadership roles.  Read more...

Quotas for women in parliament

The issue of quotas for women in parliament is once again in the news, with motions to introduce quotas to be debated at upcoming Liberal Party state conferences in New South Wales and Victoria. An Essential Report poll published on 30 March 2021 found that 48 per cent of those polled supported political parties setting gender quotas for candidate selection (with 36 per cent opposed). The international experience of quotas Since the 1990s over one hundred countries have implemented political gender quotas, and by 2013 over half the world’s countries had adopted some form of quota, including by 2018, over twenty established democracies. Many countries have found quotas to be an effectiv... Read more...

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

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