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Representation of women in Australian parliaments



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Parliament of Australia Departmentof Parliamentary Services

Contents

Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 1

How does Australia rate? ......................................................................................................................... 2

Parliamentarians ................................................................................................................................. 2

Parliamentary leaders and presiding officers ..................................................................................... 3

Ministers and parliamentary secretaries ............................................................................................ 4

Women chairing parliamentary committees ...................................................................................... 6

Women candidates in Commonwealth elections ............................................................................... 7

Historical overview................................................................................................................................. 10

First women in parliament ................................................................................................................ 10

Commonwealth ........................................................................................................................... 10

States and territories ................................................................................................................... 12

Longest-serving women in the Commonwealth Parliament ............................................................ 12

Youngest women .............................................................................................................................. 13

Commonwealth ........................................................................................................................... 13

States and territories ................................................................................................................... 13

Indigenous women ........................................................................................................................... 13

Commonwealth ........................................................................................................................... 13

States and territories ................................................................................................................... 13

International comparisons ..................................................................................................................... 14

Structural barriers and issues ................................................................................................................ 16

BACKGROUND NOTE 7 March 2012

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

Dr Joy McCann and Janet Wilson Politics and Public Administration Section

The electoral system ......................................................................................................................... 16

The influence of political parties ...................................................................................................... 17

Affirmative action and quotas .......................................................................................................... 23

Party commitment to gender equity ................................................................................................ 24

Training, mentoring and networking ................................................................................................ 24

Cultural and social barriers and issues ................................................................................................... 25

Standing for election ......................................................................................................................... 26

Local government service ............................................................................................................ 28

In the parliament .............................................................................................................................. 29

Portfolios ..................................................................................................................................... 30

Parliamentary committees .......................................................................................................... 32

Children in parliament ................................................................................................................. 32

Conclusion .............................................................................................................................................. 33

Appendices ............................................................................................................................................. 35

Appendix 1: Women in national parliaments—comparative rankings of top 50 countries as at 30 June 2011 (2008 and 2001 compared) ................................................................................. 35

Appendix 2: Women in the Commonwealth Parliament, 1943-2011 .............................................. 37

Senate .......................................................................................................................................... 37

House of Representatives ............................................................................................................ 39

Appendix 3: Women in ministries, 1901-2011, as at 1 January 2012 .............................................. 42

Appendix 4: Selected milestones for women in Australian parliaments .......................................... 48

Appendix 5: Women in Commonwealth Parliament who have served for 10 years or more as at 1 January 2012 ....................................................................................................................... 51

Appendix 6: Arguments for and against quotas for women’s political representation ................... 54

Appendix 7: Selected references ...................................................................................................... 55

Party abbreviations

GRN Australian Greens GRN+ Australian Greens and former Greens parties including the Nuclear Disarmament Party ALP Australian Labor Party CLP Country Liberal Party DEM Australian Democrats DLP Democratic Labor Party LCL Liberal Country League LIB Liberal Party of Australia LNP Liberal National Party NAT The Nationals (includes the former names of Country Party and National Party and variants) ONP One Nation

Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank Ms Joanne Simon-Davies, Statistics and Mapping Section, Parliamentary

Library, for her invaluable assistance in the preparation of graphs for this Background Note, and external

and internal readers.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

1

Introduction

A key measure of women’s empowerment in society at large is their participation in politics. 1

There are currently more women parliamentarians in the Senate than at any other time since Federation. For the first time since the creation of the Commonwealth Parliament in 1901, women hold the Commonwealth leadership positions of Prime Minister and Attorney-General in the Commonwealth Parliament. In the states and territories, there is a female Premier in Queensland and Tasmania respectively and, for the third time, a female Chief Minister in the Australian Capital Territory. Despite these high-profile roles, women comprise less than one-third of all parliamentarians in Australia and occupy less than one-quarter of all Cabinet positions. The number of women in the Senate reached its highest point after the 2010 Commonwealth election, while the number of women in the House of Representatives declined. When comparing the proportion of women in national parliaments internationally, Australia’s ranking has slipped from 21 to 38 over the past decade.

This Background Note presents a range of data illustrating the level of women’s representation at the Commonwealth, state and territory, and local government levels, with a particular focus on the Commonwealth Parliament. It presents statistical information about women parliamentarians, women in parliamentary leadership positions and ministries, women as chairs of parliamentary committees, and female candidates. It also includes some comparative data relating to women’s representation in the state and territory parliaments, identifies current and historical trends, and refers to recent research on structural, social and cultural factors influencing women’s representation in parliament.

This paper is a timely contribution to the significant and ongoing debate about the nature and level of women’s representation in Australia’s parliaments. Since Prime Minister Julia Gillard became the first woman to hold this office in 2010, the issue of gender and leadership in parliament has assumed even greater focus and attracted extensive public commentary.2 Whilst it is beyond the

1. Allessandro Motter, Statement before the Third Committee of the General Assembly, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 11 October 2011, viewed 8 January 2012, http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/documents/ga66/IPU.PDF 2. See, for example, A Summers, ‘The gender agenda’, Sunday Age, 26 February 2012, p. 11, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1446387%

22; C Fox, ‘Gillard’s performance does not define women’, Australian Financial Review, 28 February 2012, viewed 1 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1455355% 22; M Johnston and J Marszalek, ‘Gender on agenda as Gillard cops flak’, Herald Sun, 7 February 2012, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1402190% 22; C Forde, ‘Women must put gender at top of election agenda to protect equality’, Courier Mail, 11 January 2012, p. 24, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1340804% 22; D Penberthy, ‘Gender not on agenda’, Sunday Mail Brisbane, 18 September 2011, p. 51, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1091930% 22

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

2

scope of this paper to analyse the views and perceptions of women parliamentarians held by their colleagues, the media and the electorate, it does draw attention to relevant research and articles by other writers who have examined gender issues in Australian parliamentary and political life.

How does Australia rate?

Parliamentarians

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, women comprise half of Australia’s total population (50.2 per cent in 2010).3 However, as Table 1 shows, women comprise less than one-third (30.1 per cent) of all parliamentarians in Australia’s parliaments. In the Commonwealth Parliament, there is a higher proportion of women in the Senate or upper house (38.2 per cent) than in the House of Representatives or lower house (24.7 per cent). The Senate has traditionally had a higher proportion of women than the House of Representatives. This is also true of those states with a bicameral parliament, with the exception of Victoria where women comprise one-third of both chambers.

Table 1: Composition of Commonwealth, state and territory parliaments by gender, as at 1 January 2012

Parliament Lower House Upper House Total for both chambers

M F Total % F M F Total % F M F Total % F

C/wealth 113 37 150 24.7 47 29 76 38.2 160 66 226 29.2

NSW 72 21 93 22.6 29 13 42 31 101 34 135 25.2

Vic 59 29 88 33 27 13 40 32.5 86 42 128 32.8

Qld* 57 32 89 36 - - - - 57 32 89 36

WA 48 11 59 18.6 19 17 36 47.2 67 28 95 29.5

SA 35 12 47 25.5 15 7 22 31.8 50 19 69 27.5

Tas 19 6 25 24 9 6 15 40 28 12 40 30

ACT* 10 7 17 41.2 - - - - 10 7 17 41.2

NT* 17 8 25 32 - - - - 17 8 25 32

Total 430 163 593 27.5 146 85 231 36.8 574 250 824 30.3

*Single chamber only

Source: Data compiled by J Wilson, Parliamentary Library, from published sources 4

3. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian social trends, Cat. 4102.0, Table 1, 29 June 2011. 4. The number of women in the South Australian Parliament increased by two as a result of two by-elections held on 11 February 2012. See J Wilson, Composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender, as at 17 February 2012, Politics and Public Administration Group, Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia,

http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Browse_by_Topic/ ~/media/05%20About%20Parliament/54%20Parliamentary%20Depts/544%20Parliamentary%20Library/Browse%2 0by%20topic/currentwomen.ashx; See Appendix 2 for names and dates of women in the Commonwealth Parliament, 1943-2011.

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Parliamentary leaders and presiding officers

According to the United Nations, women and men should participate equally in the decision-making processes of parliament.5 The Australian Human Rights Commission’s Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 identified women in leadership as one of five key priority areas in achieving gender equality.6 Given this objective, how does Australia rate in terms of women leaders in our parliaments?

Since 2010, for the first time since Federation, women have occupied two of the three most powerful positions in Australia’s system of government.7 The Constitution of Australia establishes the Commonwealth Government comprising three ‘arms of government’—the Parliament, the Executive Government and the Judiciary. At its apex is the Queen, represented by the Governor-General. Quentin Bryce is Australia’s Governor-General, the first woman to be appointed since the creation of the role in 1901. The Parliament is at the heart of Australia’s system of government, and the Prime Minister is the leader of the governing party in the House of Representatives. On 24 June 2010, Julia Gillard became Australia’s 27th Prime Minister and the first woman to hold that position, having previously served as Australia’s first female Deputy Prime Minister.

Every state and territory except South Australia has had a woman premier or chief minister. As at 1 January 2012, three of the eight state and territory leaders are women—Anna Bligh in Queensland, Lara Giddings in Tasmania, and Katy Gallagher in the Australian Capital Territory. The Northern Territory has a female Deputy Chief Minister (Delia Lawrie). Of the state and territory parliaments the Australian Capital Territory has had the highest number of female leaders of all the states and territories, with Rosemary Follett (1989, 1991-1995), Kate Carnell (1995-2000), and Katy Gallagher (2011-).

Three women have served in the role of Deputy Opposition Leader in the Commonwealth Parliament. Jenny Macklin (ALP) was elected unopposed as deputy leader in 2001 and held the position until 2006. She was succeeded by Julia Gillard (ALP) who held the position until 2007 when she was appointed Deputy Prime Minister. Following the 2007 election, Julie Bishop (LIB) became the third female Deputy Opposition Leader.8 At the end of 2011, South Australia was the only state/territory to have a woman Opposition Leader (Isobel Redmond), while New South Wales and the Northern Territory each had a woman in the position of Deputy Opposition Leader.

5. United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women, Equal participation of women and men in decision-making processes, with particular emphasis on political participation and leadership, Report of the Expert Group Meeting, Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 24-27 October 2005, p. 12, viewed 12 December 2011, http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/eql-men/FinalReport.pdf

6. Australian Human Rights Commission, Gender equality blueprint 2010,viewed 12 December 2011, http://www.humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/publication/blueprint/index.html 7. The Commonwealth of Australia Table of Precedence places the Governor-General first, followed by the State Governors and the Prime Minister. 8. In the Commonwealth Parliament, the parliamentary parties select their leaders and deputy leaders in both

Houses. See IC Harris, ed, House of Representatives practice, Department of the House of Representatives, Canberra, 2005, fifth edition, Chapter 2 for a description of roles and relationships in the House of Representatives, and H Evans, ed, Odgers’ Australian Senate practice, Department of the Senate, Canberra, 2008, Twelfth Edition, Chapters 5 and 6 for a similar description in the Senate.

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The most senior parliamentary positions in the Commonwealth Parliament are the presiding officers—the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. They maintain the authority of their chamber, and uphold its rights and privileges. In its 110-year history, the Australian Parliament has had only one woman Speaker in the House of Representatives (Mrs Joan Child MP who held the position from 1986 until 1989), and one woman President of the Senate (Senator Margaret Reid who was elected in 1996 and served for six years). Anna Burke MP held the position of Deputy Speaker in the House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010 and from November 2011.

Six of the eight state and territory parliaments have had at least one female presiding officer including the current incumbents the Hon Shelley Hancock (Speaker, NSW Legislative Assembly), the Hon Lynette Breuer (Speaker, SA House of Assembly), the Hon Sue Smith (President, Tasmanian Legislative Council), and the Hon Jane Aagaard (Speaker, Northern Territory Legislative Assembly).

Ministers and parliamentary secretaries

As at 1 January 2012, women comprised 23.3 per cent of the Commonwealth ministry (see Table 2 below). This included 22.7 per cent in the Cabinet (or inner ministry) and 25 per cent in the outer ministry.9 In the Commonwealth Opposition shadow ministry, women comprised 18.8 per cent of the overall ministry, with 10 per cent in the ‘shadow’ Cabinet and 33.3 per cent (or one-third) in the outer ministry.

Members and senators may be appointed by the Commonwealth Government as parliamentary secretaries to assist ministers in their work. They are sworn in as members of the Federal Executive Council, but do not have their own portfolio. In the past they were known as assistant ministers or parliamentary under-secretaries. In the House of Representatives, parliamentary secretaries sit in the row of seats immediately behind the government front bench. They can stand in for a minister in the Chamber, and perform all the duties of the minister on the floor except for answering questions on portfolio matters. Their legal status and extent of their powers is the subject of debate from time to time. 10 Since 1999 they have been paid a salary of office. As Table 2 shows, a higher percentage of women hold parliamentary secretary positions than hold ministries.

9. Another reshuffle on 2 March 2012 saw the proportion of women in the ministry increase to 26.7 percent (22.7 per cent in the Cabinet and 37.5 per cent in the outer ministry). The Commonwealth Cabinet comprises a council of senior ministers who are members of the inner ministry, and is chaired by the Prime Minister. The ‘Inner Cabinet’ system was introduced informally by Prime Minister Robert Menzies in 1954. The present practice whereby Cabinet comprises some but not all ministers was formally adopted in 1956. The two-tier ministry system has been continued by every government, with modifications, except the Whitlam government (1972-75) which reverted to the pre-1956 practice. See Harris, House of Representatives Practice, op.cit., p. 74.

10. Ibid., pp. 69-70; Evans, Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice, op.cit.

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Table 2: Commonwealth ministers, parliamentary secretaries and shadow ministers by gender, as at 1 January 2012

Commonwealth Parliament Government Ministers Opposition Shadow Ministers

Male Female Total % Female Male Female Total % Female

Cabinet (Inner Ministry) 17 5 22 22.7 18 2 20 10

Outer Ministry 6 2 8 25 8 4 12 33.3

All ministers 23 7 30 23.3 26 6 32 18.8

Parliamentary secretaries 7 5 12 41.7 11 3 14 21.4

Source: Data compiled by Parliamentary Library from published sources 11

By way of comparison, across Australia’s state and territory parliaments women held less than one-third of all ministerial positions (26.7 per cent) and shadow ministerial positions (27.4 per cent). In state and territory parliaments all ministers are members of Cabinet. The proportion of women in state and territory ministries is low compared with men (see Table 3.1 below). Victoria and Western Australia have the lowest proportion of women ministers and the Australian Capital Territory has the highest.

Table 3.1: State and territory ministers and shadow ministers by gender, as at 1 January 2012

Parliament Government Ministers Opposition Shadow Ministers

Male Female Total % Female Male Female Total % Female

NSW 17 5 22 22.7 10 6 16 37.5

Vic 19 4 23 17.4 15 8 23 34.8

Qld 12 6 18 33.3 14 4 18 22.2

WA 14 3 17 17.6 11 6 17 35.1

SA 11 4 15 26.7 13 2 15 13.3

Tas 5 3 8 37.5 8 3 11 27.3

ACT 12 3 2 5 40 5 1 6 16.7

NT (2011) 6 2 8 25 9 2 11 18.2

All states and territories 88 32 120 26.7 85 32 117 27.4

All Australian parliaments 111 39 150 26 111 38 149 25.5

Source: Data compiled by Parliamentary Library from published sources 13

11. Commonwealth parliament, government and political party websites. 12. The Tasmanian ministry includes Greens MPs. 13. State and territory parliament, government and political party websites.

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The proportion of women appointed as parliamentary secretaries tends to be similar to the Commonwealth Parliament (with the exception of New South Wales where there is a similar percentage of female ministers and parliamentary secretaries). However, some state and territory government and opposition parties do not appoint parliamentary secretaries or shadow parliamentary secretaries, so the scope for comparison is limited.

Table 3.2: State and territory parliamentary secretaries by gender, as at 1 January 2012

Parliament Parliamentary secretaries Shadow parliamentary secretaries

Male Female Total % Female Male Female Total % Female

NSW 10 3 13 23.1 - - - -

Vic 7 4 11 36.4 3 2 5 40

Qld 3 4 7 57.1 4 1 5 20

WA 3 3 6 50 - - - -

SA - - - - - 1 1 100

Tas 2 1 3 33.3 - - - -

ACT - - - - - - - -

NT 1 2 3 66.7 - 1 1 100

All states and territories 26 17 43 39.5 7 5 12 41.7

All Australian parliaments 33 22 55 40 18 8 26 30.8

Source: Data compiled by Parliamentary Library from published sources 14

Women chairing parliamentary committees

The parliament delegates some of its tasks and associated powers to committees comprising small groups of senators or members. The Constitution (Section 49) recognises committees as an essential instrument of both Houses. They have the power to perform functions which the Houses themselves are not equipped to perform, including gathering evidence from expert groups and individuals, and allowing direct contact between the parliament and the people. Most committees comprise representatives of all parties, and participation has become a very important aspect of the work of senators and members.15 The earliest committees were established in 1901, mostly dealing with the workings of the parliament. The current Senate committee system took shape from 1970 with the establishment of the Legislative and General Purpose Standing Committees and Estimates

14. State and territory parliament, government and political party websites. 15. Department of the Senate, ‘Senate Committees’, Senate Brief, no. 4, January 2012, viewed 27 February 2012, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/briefs/brief04; Committees, Department of the House of Representatives, ‘Committees’, Infosheet no. 4, October 2010, viewed 27 February

2012, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/00_-_Infosheets/Infosheet_4_-_Committees

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Committees. In 1987 the House of Representatives established a comprehensive committee system with eight general purpose standing committees, and the number was increased to nine in 1996 and reached a peak of 13 in 2002.16 The number of committees changed from 13 to 12 on 12 February 2008 (at the commencement of the 42nd Parliament).17

The chair of a parliamentary committee presides over the business and conduct of a committee. The position of committee chair is regarded as a stepping stone to senior political positions including minister or parliamentary secretary.18 The first woman to chair a committee was Senator Marie Breen OBE (later Dame), who chaired a domestic standing committee, the Senate Printing Committee, from 1965 to 1968. In 1968 Senator Dame Ivy Wedgwood chaired the Senate Select Committee on Medical and Hospital Costs, and also one of the first of the Senate’s new legislative and general purpose standing committees, the Health and Welfare Committee. That Committee’s report on handicapped persons in Australia was the first to be tabled by these influential committees.

Currently, women chair seven of the 16 general purpose standing and legislation committees and two of the eight domestic standing committees in the Senate. Neither of the two Senate legislative scrutiny committees nor the single select committee is chaired by a woman. In the House of Representatives, women chair three of the nine general purpose standing committees and one of the seven domestic standing committees in the House of Representatives. Women chair six of the 20 various joint committees.

Women candidates in Commonwealth elections

Of the 349 Senate candidates in the 2010 Commonwealth election 123 (35.2 per cent) were women, while in the House of Representatives there were 849 candidates of whom 230 (27.1 per cent) were women, as follows:

16. Harris, House of Representatives Practice, op. cit., p. 623. 17. Amendments to the Standing Orders and Certain Resolutions of the House, House of Representatives, House Votes and Proceedings, 12 February 2008, viewed 7 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fvotes%2F2008-02-

12%2F0024%22 18. SA Palmieri, Gender mainstreaming in the Australian Parliament: achievement with room for improvement, Research paper, Parliamentary Studies Centre, Australian National University, n.d., viewed 20 January 2012,

http://www.parliamentarystudies.anu.edu.au/pdf/publications/2011/Gender_Mainstreaming_in_the_Australian_P arliament.pdf

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Table 4: Female candidates in 2010 Commonwealth election

State/

territory

Senate House of Representatives

Seats Males Females Total % Females Seats Males Females Total % Females

NSW 6 55 29 84 34.5 48 219 80 299 26.8

Vic 6 34 26 60 43.3 37 150 44 194 22.7

Qld 6 44 16 60 26.7 30 119 39 158 24.7

WA 6 34 21 55 38.2 15 59 33 92 35.9

SA 6 29 13 42 30.9 11 49 19 68 27.9

Tas 6 14 10 24 41.7 5 14 6 20 30

ACT 2 6 3 9 33.3 2 3 4 7 57.1

NT 2 10 5 15 33.3 2 6 5 11 45.5

Australia 40 226 123 349 35.2 150 619 230 849 27.1

Source: AEC Close of nominations factsheet, 2010 19

An analysis of Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) data for Senate candidates between the 1983 and 2010 Commonwealth elections indicates that the proportion of nominations by female candidates generally increased at each election from 19.2 per cent in 1983 to a high of 36.8 per cent in 2007, with a slight fall to 35.5 per cent in 2010 (see Table 5.1 below). The major parties (ALP and Liberal/Nationals Coalition) showed a generally upward trend in female candidates. The highest proportions were attained in 2007 with more than half (55.5 per cent) of the ALP’s candidates, and 40 per cent of the Liberal Party’s candidates being women. The use of proportional representation for Senate elections has been more favourable to minor parties than the majoritarian system used for the House of Representatives.

Both of the larger minor parties (Australian Democrats and Australian Greens) have consistently had a high proportion of women candidates in those elections contested. The Democrats had the highest number of female candidates for that party in 2004 with 63.6 per cent or nearly two-thirds of their candidates being women, whilst the Greens reached a record high for any party in 2010, with women comprising 71.4 per cent or more than two-thirds of their total candidates.

19. AEC, Federal election 2010, close of nominations factsheet, viewed 4 January 2011, http://www.aec.gov.au/Elections/federal_elections/2010/files/e2010-close-of-nominations.pdf

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Table 5.1: Percentage of female candidates for the Senate by party, 1983-2010

Election year

Political party

DEM

%

ALP

%

LIB*

%

NAT

%

GRN+

%

Others

%

Total—all parties

%

1983 32.3 27.5 11.8 17.7 0 15.6 19.2

1984 34.6 25.0 22.6 25.0 0 26.8 26.7

1987 28.0 23.9 23.4 28.0 50.0 27.8 26.7

1990 52.2 25.0 19.2 18.2 56.3 26.1 29.6

1993 52.2 21.4 22.6 30.0 55.0 29.2 31.6

1996 36.0 48.0 32.1 42.9 64.7 29.4 34.9

1998 28.0 40.7 39.3 22.2 61.9 26.0 30.7

2001 46.2 48.0 22.6 37.5 54.5 27.2 32.6

2004 63.6 44.0 28.6 27.3 56.7 25.2 32.4

2007 33.3 55.5 40.7 10.0 58.6 33.2 36.8

2010 35.7 48.3 30.4 50.0 71.4 29.9 35.5

*includes NT Country Liberal Party

Source: Data compiled by J Wilson, Parliamentary Library from published sources 20

An analysis of AEC data for House of Representatives candidates between the 1983 and 2010 Commonwealth elections indicates that the proportion of nominations by female candidates remained steady between 1983 and 1990, increasing to a high of 27.9 per cent in 1996, then remaining steady at around 27 per cent until 2010 (see Table 5.2 below). Amongst the major political parties (ALP and Liberal/Nationals Coalition), the proportion of female candidates has fluctuated considerably in this period, with each party having its highest proportion of women candidates at various times. The ALP had its highest proportion of female candidates (38.7 per cent) in 2001. The Liberal Party had its highest proportion of female candidates (25.8 per cent) in 1996. The Nationals achieved the party’s highest proportion of female candidates (30.3 per cent) in 2001. It fell sharply in 2010 to 6.3 per cent of the Nationals’ total candidates. Of the larger minor parties, the Greens and the Australian Democrats have maintained a relatively stable percentage of female candidates, respectively reaching their highest proportion of female candidates in 2001 (48 per cent) and in 2007 (37.2 per cent).

20. AEC published data for each election.

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Table 5.2: Percentage of female candidates for the House of Representatives by party, 1983-2010

Election year

Political party

DEM

%

ALP

%

LIB*

%

LNP

%

NAT

%

GRN+

%

Others

%

All parties

%

1983 23.3 16.0 8.2 - 3.0 - 23.0 17.0

1984 26.8 12.2 11.4 - 9.7 - 23.8 17.4

1987 35.7 17.6 8.7 - 4.8 - 18.6 17.8

1990 27.1 12.8 14.1 - 12.8 39.3 16.0 17.8

1993 25.0 17.7 15.0 - 13.4 46.0 25.9 23.6

1996 34.7 20.3 25.6 - 6.5 42.2 26.5 27.9

1998 28.4 34.5 23.0 - 15.6 46.3 21.7 27.0

2001 36.7 38.7 17.9 - 30.3 48.0 16.4 27.7

2004 35.2 30.7 23.7 - 20.8 46.2 21.4 27.5

2007 37.2 30.0 23.1 - 25.0 38.7 19.6 25.8

2010 12.0 31.3 20.7 20.0 6.3 41.3 24.0 27.1

*includes NT Country Liberal Party

Source: Data compiled by J Wilson, Parliamentary Library from published sources 21

Historical overview

First women in parliament

Commonwealth

Most Australian women (excluding Indigenous women in some states) won the right to vote in Commonwealth elections as a result of the passing of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902. Four women stood at the 1903 election, the first Commonwealth election conducted after the passage of that Act. None of the four candidates was successful, but they were the first female candidates for any national parliament in the British Commonwealth.22

The first women were not elected to the Commonwealth Parliament until 1943, when Dorothy Tangney (later Dame) won a Senate position to represent Western Australia and Enid Lyons (later Dame) was elected to the House of Representatives in the seat of Darwin, Tasmania.23 By 1980,

21. Ibid.

22. They were Vida Goldstein (Victoria), Nellie Martel and Mary Ann Moore Bentley (NSW) for the Senate, and Selina Anderson (later Siggins) for the seat of Dalley (NSW) in the House of Representatives. 23. Australian Electoral Office, Electoral milestones for women, 28 January 2011, viewed 10 November 2011, http://www.aec.gov.au/elections/australian_electoral_history/milestone.htm

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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women still made up only three per cent of the House of Representatives and 10.9 per cent of the Senate.24

Since Federation, 1595 members have served in both Houses of the Commonwealth Parliament, of which 162 (10.2 per cent) have been women, as follows:

Table 6: Senators and Members since 1901 by gender

Senate House of Representatives Both Houses

Total Female % Female Total Female % Female Total Female % Female

547 80 14.6 1093 86 7.9 1595* 162** 10.2

*This takes into account the 45 members who have served in both Houses.

**This takes into account the four women who have served in both Houses (Bronwyn Bishop, Cheryl Kernot, Belinda Neal and Kathy Sullivan).

Source: Parliamentary Handbook 25

Figure 1 illustrates the trends in women’s representation in both chambers since the first women entered the Commonwealth Parliament in 1943. Of the 162 women who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament, 30 have served as ministers, 21 as Parliamentary Secretaries, and eight as both (see Appendix 3).

24. Data compiled by J Wilson, Parliamentary Library, from Parliamentary Handbook, 1 July 2011. 25. Parliamentary Library, Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia 2011, 43rd Parliament, Parliamentary Library, Department of Parliamentary Services, Commonwealth of Australia 2011, pp. 480-3, viewed 9 November 2011, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/handbook/newhandbook/2011-10-

13/toc_pdf_repeat/Part%206%20-%20Historical%20information%20on%20the%20Australian%20Parliament.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf

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Figure 1: Percentage of women in the Senate and House of Representatives, 1943 to 2011

*Dates represent election dates (including double dissolutions) or 1 July of the year following an election when changes to the Senate resulting from that election take effect. Source: Parliamentary Handbook

States and territories

South Australia led the world in women’s political rights in 1894, when women won the right to vote and to sit in the South Australian Parliament. By 1909 all Australian states and the Commonwealth had enfranchised most women. Women won the right to vote in Western Australia in 1899, but they did not win the right to sit in the State Parliament until 1920. Edith Cowan was the first woman to enter any Australian parliament when she won the Western Australian Legislative Assembly seat of West Perth in 1921.26 Appendix 4 presents a selection of key milestones for women in Australia’s parliaments. The following sections highlight some aspects of these achievements.

Longest-serving women in the Commonwealth Parliament

At the end of 2011, Kathy Martin (later Sullivan) holds the record as the longest-serving woman in the Commonwealth Parliament with a total service of 27 years three months and 25 days (see Appendix 5). This included 10½ years in the Senate and nearly 17 years in the House of Representatives. She is one of only four women to have held a seat in both Houses. Senator Dorothy

26. M Brown, ‘Cowan, Edith Dircksey’, Australian dictionary of biography, viewed 18 January 2012, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/cowan-edith-dircksey-5791

0

5

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35

40

21/8/1943 1/7/1947 22/2/1950 28/4/1951 1/7/1953 29/5/1954 10/12/1955 1/7/1956 1/7/1959 1/7/1962 30/11/1963

1/7/1965 26/11/1966 1/7/1968 1/7/1971 2/12/1972 18/5/1974 13/12/1975 1/7/1978 1/7/1981 5/3/1983 1/12/1984 1/7/1985 11/7/1987 1/7/1990 1/7/1993 1/7/1996 1/7/1999 1/7/2002 1/7/2005 1/7/2008 1/7/2011 Total

(%)

Dates

Senate House of Representatives

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

13

Tangney was the longest-serving woman in the Senate with a record 24 years 10 months and nine days. Bronwyn Bishop MP, who is currently in the House of Representatives and one of the four women to have held a seat in both Houses, is the third longest-serving woman in the Commonwealth Parliament with a total period of service of 24 years, four months and 18 days at the end of 2011. This includes six years seven months and 13 days in the Senate, and 17 years nine months and five days in the House. Appendix 5 provides a list of women who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament for ten years or more.

Youngest women

Commonwealth

Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, elected to the Senate for South Australia in 2007 at the age of 25, is the youngest woman to enter the Commonwealth Parliament. Natasha Stott Despoja was previously the youngest, following her election to the Senate in 1995 at the age of 26.

States and territories

Kelly Vincent MLC, elected to the South Australian Parliament in 2010 at 21 (representing the Dignity for Disability) is the youngest woman to be elected to any of Australia’s parliaments. Roslyn Dundas, elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2001 at 23 (representing the Australian Democrats), was formerly the youngest woman to be elected to an Australian parliament.

Indigenous women

Commonwealth

There have been no Indigenous women elected to the Commonwealth Parliament since Federation in 1901. Indeed, Indigenous women in some states were specifically excluded from voting in Commonwealth elections as a result of the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902.

States and territories

Indigenous women are under-represented in all state and territory parliaments. Carol Martin was elected to the Western Australian Parliament on 10 February 2001, becoming the first Indigenous woman to be elected to any Australian parliament. She was re-elected in 2005 and 2008.27 The Northern Territory has had the largest number of Indigenous Australian women MPs of all the state and territory parliaments. Marion Scrymgour MP, elected to the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly in 2001, became the first female Indigenous minister in Australia in 2003. She was appointed Deputy Chief Minister of the Northern Territory from November 2007 to February 2009, making her the highest-ranked Indigenous person in government in Australia’s history. In 2005,

27. Western Australian parliament website, viewed 9 November 2011, http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/parliament%5Cmemblist.nsf/WAllMembersFlat/Martin,+Carol+Anne?opendocu ment

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

14

another two Indigenous women were elected to the Northern Territory parliament—Malarndirri McCarthy, and Alison Anderson. Alison Anderson was a minister in the Northern Territory government from 2005 until she resigned from the ALP in 2009 to become an Independent. She subsequently joined the Country Liberal party in 2011.28 In New South Wales, Linda Burney became the first Indigenous person to be elected to the NSW Parliament in 2003. She held several ministerial positions in the NSW Cabinet between 2007 and 2011, and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in NSW in 2011.

International comparisons

According to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) data on 190 countries, women comprise 19.5 per cent or less than one-fifth of all parliamentarians in national parliaments. Of these, 27 countries have reached or exceeded the 30 per cent ‘critical mass’ for women’s parliamentary representation, widely regarded as a minimum benchmark for equal participation.29

The problem of women’s parliamentary under-representation is found in many countries worldwide. The United Nations has identified a number of barriers that inhibit women from being elected to national parliaments including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. These barriers include:

• the nature of the electoral system • the nature and processes of political parties • women’s lower levels of education and socio-economic status • traditions and beliefs about the role of women in society, and • the burden of combining work and family responsibilities.

30

The IPU’s historical data indicates that women’s representation in Australia’s Commonwealth Parliament has declined significantly over the past decade when compared with national parliaments globally (see Figure 2 below). As at 30 June 2011, Australia ranked equal 38th with Canada, having slipped from equal 31st with Granada in 2008 and 21st in 2001. Australia is currently ranked 41st.

Australia is ranked behind New Zealand (ranked 17th as at 30 June 2011), ahead of the United Kingdom (ranked 48th) and the United States of America (ranked 69th). Women comprised 24.7 per cent of the House of Representatives and 38.2 per cent in the Senate. This compares with elected positions in the UK parliament (22 per cent in the House of Commons) and the US Congress (16.9 per

28. Australian Labor Party, Northern Territory Branch, ‘Territory members’, ALP website, viewed 9 November 2011, http://www.nt.alp.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=9; N Adlam, ‘Anderson confirms she’ll switch sides’, Northern Territory News, 31 August 2011, viewed 27 February 2012, http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2011/08/31/257011_ntnews.html

29. Inter-Parliamentary Union, Women in national parliaments, Archived data, viewed 21 December 2011, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/world.htm 30. United Nations Population Fund, State of world population 2005, Gender equality fact sheet, viewed 27 October 2011, http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2005/presskit/factsheets/facts_gender.htm

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

15

cent in the House of Representatives and 17 per cent in the Senate). A comparison of the top 50 IPU country rankings for women in national parliaments is at Appendix 1.

Figure 2: Australia’s ranking in IPU women in national parliaments survey

Source: IPU, Women in national parliaments 31

The IPU’s regional averages show that Nordic countries have the highest number of women in the single house or lower house of their national parliaments (42 per cent), followed by Europe’s OSCE member countries including Nordic countries (22.6 per cent) and North and South America (22.6 per cent). The Arab States have the least number of women MPs (11.3 per cent). Of those national parliaments with an upper house, the Pacific region has the highest average number of women (34.8 per cent).32

Given the slow progress internationally, many countries have adopted some form of gender quota to increase women’s representation in politics. The Quota Project, a global database of quotas for women in politics, reports that half of the countries of the world today use some type of electoral quota system for women, including candidate quotas, reserved seats and voluntary quotas for political parties. Different systems are preferred in different regions. Reserved seats tend to be used

31. IPU, Women in national parliaments, op. cit. 32. Ibid.

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011

Australia

- world ranking

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

16

in the Arab region, in South Asia and partly in Africa.33 The quota system is a controversial issue in Australia (see discussion below on affirmative action and quotas).

In September 2011, women political leaders attending the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York noted that women comprise less than 10 per cent of world leaders and less than one in five parliamentarians. They signed a joint statement calling for women’s equal right ‘to participate in all areas and at all levels of political life’ and reaffirming support for the role of the UN in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women.34

Structural barriers and issues

As noted above, the United Nations has identified a number of barriers that have been found to inhibit women from being elected to national parliaments globally. In recent years, academic researchers have examined these barriers in the Australian context in order to understand the particular structural barriers and issues that influence women’s political representation and parliamentary experience. These include the electoral system, the turnover rate of parliamentarians, the party system, and the structure of the parliament itself.35

The electoral system

International research over several decades consistently shows that the type of electoral system used has a direct impact on the representation of women. The Beijing Platform for Action, developed at the United Nation’s Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995, called on national governments to review the impact of their electoral systems on women’s representation, and to undertake necessary reforms. Proportional representation (PR) electoral systems are generally more favourable to women candidates than single-member systems, and some forms of PR are better than others. However, as Marian Sawer notes, ‘*t+he difference between PR systems and those based on single-member electorates, whether of the plurality (first-past-the-post) or majoritarian variety, lies in the differing incentives they create for candidate selection’. PR systems encourage parties to present a ‘balanced ticket appealing to all sections of the community’ as well as

33. ‘Quota Project: Global database of quotas for women’, Quota Project website, viewed 27 February 2012, http://www.quotaproject.org/aboutProject.cfm 34. ‘Joint statement on advancing women’s political participation’, 19 September 2011, UN Women website, viewed 27 October 2011, http://www.unwomen.org/2011/09/world-leaders-draw-attention-to-central-role-of-womens-

political-participation-in-democracy/#jointstatement 35. See, for example, I McAllister, ‘Women’s electoral representation in Australia’ in M Sawer, M Tremblay and L Trimble, eds, Representing women in parliament: a comparative study, Routledge, 2006; M Sawer and M Simms, A

woman’s place: women and politics in Australia, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1993; M Tremblay, ‘Democracy, representation, and women: a comparative analysis’, Democratization, vol. 14, no. 4, viewed 20 February 2012, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510340701398261

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

17

to all sections of the party. In her analysis of different variations of PR systems, she concludes that it is the closed party list that produces the most favourable results for women candidates.36

A comparison of women’s representation by party in the Commonwealth Parliament since the first women entered parliament in 1943 indicates that women have had greater success in elections for the Senate than in the House of Representatives (see Figure 1 above).37 Australian election analyst, Tony Smith, suggests that the electoral system used in the Senate favours the minor parties which tend to be younger and ‘less prejudiced against women than Labor and the Coalition, whose longer histories created traditions in times when the public and private spheres were sex-differentiated. It might also reflect the fact that most ambitious men aim for the lower house where government is formed, and regard upper house seats as career backwaters’.38

The influence of political parties

The candidate selection process used by political parties is a major factor in determining the level of parliamentary representation by women.39 The decisions they make are usually influenced by the party’s rules and strategies for maximising the number of seats they win. One of the reasons commonly cited by parties for not endorsing women candidates was that they would lose the party votes. A survey conducted by Malcolm Mackerras in the 1980s, however, showed that female candidates were generally getting equal results to those of male candidates.40 The 2007 Commonwealth election for the House of Representatives yielded a similar result. Of the 1054 candidates contesting the 150 available seats, 14.7 percent of the female candidates and 14.1 per cent of the male candidates were successful. These results suggest that the reasons for women’s political under-representation are more to do with party preselection processes than the polls.41

36. M Sawer, ‘Women and elections’, in L LeDuc, RG Niemi and P Norris, eds, Comparing democracies: elections and voting in the 21 st century, Sage, Los Angeles, 2010.

37. Proportional representation was first used for the Australian Senate in 1949. It produces a result in which winning candidates gain seats in direct proportion to the number of votes they secure. A further refinement—ticket voting or above-the-line voting—was first used in 1984. This system involves voting for candidates for the same party for multiple positions. Since 1918, members have been elected to the House of Representatives using the single-member district alternative or preferential voting system. This system requires candidates to gain an absolute majority—more than 50 per cent—of the formal vote in order to win a seat. The number of seats increased in both chambers as a result of legislation passed in 1949 and 1984 respectively.

38. T Smith, ‘The boys hold their own: candidate gender in the 2007 federal elections’, Australian Policy Online, 23 November 2007, p. 2, viewed 21 February 2012, http://www.sisr.net/apo/candidates.pdf 39. ‘Candidate selection within political parties’ ACE: The electoral knowledge network, viewed 4 January 2012, http://aceproject.org/ace-en/topics/pc/pcb/pcb02/pcb02a; McAllister, ‘Women’s electoral representation’, op.cit.,

p. 36-7.

40. M Mackerras, ‘Why women are getting elected’, Australian Quarterly, summer 1983, pp. 375-87. 41. T Smith, Candidate gender in the 2010 Australian federal election, Democratic Audit discussion paper 1/10, August 2010, viewed 21 February 2012, http://democraticaudit.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/smithAugust2010.pdf

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

18

Figure 3.1: Number of women in the Senate by party, 1943 to 2011

Source: Parliamentary Handbook

0

2

4

6

8

10

12

14

16

8/21/1943

7/1/1947

12/10/1949

4/28/1951

7/1/1953

7/1/1956

7/1/1959

7/1/1962

7/1/1965

7/1/1968

7/1/1971

5/18/1974

12/13/1975

7/1/1978

7/1/1981

3/5/1983

12/1/1984

7/1/1985

7/11/1987

7/1/1990

7/1/1993

7/1/1996

7/1/1999

7/1/2002

7/1/2005

7/1/2008

7/1/2011

Number

Election or Commencement Date

Senate

Number of Women by Party

ALP

Coalition

Democrat

Green

Ind.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

19

Figure 3.2 Number of women in the House of Representatives by party, 1943 to 2011

Source: Parliamentary Handbook

In Senate elections where candidates compete for multiple positions, parties have adopted a de facto list system, ‘with the parties effectively sealing the fate of individual candidates by virtue of determining their order on the party ticket’.42 As former Senator Margaret Reynolds has observed, ‘it is easier for women to gain the endorsement of their parties for preselection for upper houses where a listing system is adopted and it is easier to argue for power sharing. Whereas, when there is only the one position there is considerable competition’.43 The problem was recognised by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs as early as 1992. In its report, the Committee recommended that ‘all political parties examine their selection procedures for systematic discrimination against women and develop appropriate affirmative action programmes which would give women equal opportunity to take a greater role in the political process’.44

42. McAllister, ‘Women’s electoral representation’, op. cit. 43. M Reynolds, Women, preselection and merit: who decides?, Papers on Parliament no. 27, March 1996, http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/senate/pubs/pops/pop27/c03.pdf 44. House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Half way to equal: report of the

inquiry into equal opportunity and equal status for women in Australia, AGPS, 1992, Recommendation 41, p. xxxvi

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

21/08/1943

28/09/1946

10/12/1949

28/04/1951

29/05/1954

10/12/1955

22/11/1958

9/12/1961

30/11/1963

26/11/1966

25/10/1969

2/12/1972

18/05/1974

13/12/1975

10/12/1977

18/10/1980

5/03/1983

1/12/1984

11/07/1987

24/03/1990

13/03/1993

2/03/1996

30/10/1998

10/11/2001

9/10/2004

24/11/2007

21/08/2010

Number

ALP

Coalition

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

20

Between 1903 and 1943, only 26 female candidates were nominated for election to the Commonwealth Parliament, and no woman was endorsed by a major party for the Senate prior to the start of World War II. Whilst there were more women candidates during the 1950s and 1960s, they were rarely supported by the major parties ‘in the belief that women could not poll well in Commonwealth elections’. By 1971, only seven women had been elected to the Senate and three to the House of Representatives.45 Where women were supported by major parties, they tended to be endorsed for marginal seats—a trend that was reported in the 1990s.46 The strategies that parties use for preselection are therefore of particular significance to women’s representation. The following tables show the party affiliations of the 162 women who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament between 1943 and 2011 (see Appendix 2 for a full list of the women who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament, by party, from 1943 to 2011).

Table 7.1: Women in the Commonwealth Parliament by party, 1943-2011

Party Number of women

Senate House of Representatives Total

ALP 32

53 85

LIB (a) 24 29 53

NAT (b) 4 2 6

GRN 9 - 19

DEM (c) 9 - 9

IND (d) 2 1 3

IND LAB - 1 1

TOTAL 80 86 166 (e)

Source: Parliamentary Handbook 47

Explanatory notes: a) includes Enid Lyons (UAP), Natasha Griggs (CLP), and Agnes Robertson who represented the Liberal Party from 1949 until 1955 when she was elected representing the Country and Democratic League, aligned with the Country Party (CP)

b) includes CP, NP, NPA

c) includes Janet Powell who left the party in July 1992 and subsequently sat as an Independent; also Meg Lees who resigned from the party in July 2002 and sat as an Independent until she formed the Australian Progressive Alliance in April 2003

d) includes Jo Vallentine who, although elected to represent the Nuclear Disarmament Party, sat as an Independent until July 1990 when she was elected to represent the WA Greens; also includes Irina Dunn who represented the Nuclear Disarmament Party until she was expelled for refusing to comply with the party’s request that she resign in favour of Robert Wood who had been elected to the Senate but was initially ineligible to take up his seat

45. Women in the Senate, Senate Brief no. 3, August 2011, viewed 4 January 2012, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/briefs/brief03

46. McAllister, ‘Women’s electoral representation in Australia’, op.cit., p. 144; Coopers and Lybrand, ‘Women and Parliaments in Australia and New Zealand: a discussion paper’, Office of the Status of Women, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, 1994, p. 18.

47. Parliamentary Handbook, op. cit.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

21

e) this total represents 162 women, including four women who have served in both Houses: Cheryl Kernot (DEM, ALP), Belinda Neal (ALP), Kathy Martin/Sullivan (LIB), and Bronwyn Bishop (LIB).

Table 7.2: Percentage of women in Senate by major party, 1943-2011

Date ALP LIB NAT

Female Total % Female Total % Female Total %

21/08/1943 1 22 4.5 0 12 0.0 0 2 0.0

1/07/1947 1 33 3.0 1 2 50.0 0 1 0.0

22/02/1950 1 34 2.9 3 20 15.0 0 6 0.0

28/04/1951 1 28 3.6 3 26 11.5 0 6 0.0

1/07/1953 1 29 3.4 3 26 11.5 0 5 0.0

10/12/1955 1 29 3.4 3 25 12.0 1 6 16.7

1/07/1956 1 28 3.6 3 24 12.5 1 6 16.7

1/07/1959 1 26 3.8 3 25 12.0 1 7 14.3

1/07/1962 1 28 3.6 4 24 16.7 0 6 0.0

1/07/1965 1 27 3.7 3 23 13.0 0 7 0.0

1/07/1968 0 27 0.0 3 21 14.3 0 7 0.0

1/07/1971 0 26 0.0 2 21 9.5 0 5 0.0

18/05/1974 2 29 6.9 2 23 8.7 0 6 0.0

13/12/1975 3 27 11.1 3 27 11.1 0 8 0.0

1/07/1978 3 26 11.5 3 29 10.3 0 6 0.0

1/07/1981 4 27 14.8 4 28 14.3 1 3 33.3

5/03/1983 7 30 23.3 4 24 16.7 1 4 25.0

1/12/1984 7 35 20.0 5 28 17.9 1 6 16.7

1/07/1985 6 34 17.6 5 28 17.9 1 5 20.0

11/07/1987 5 32 15.6 7 27 25.9 1 7 14.3

1/07/1990 5 32 15.6 7 29 24.1 1 5 20.0

1/07/1993 4 30 13.3 7 30 23.3 0 6 0.0

1/07/1996 9 29 31.0 8 31 25.8 0 6 0.0

1/07/1999 9 29 31.0 9 31 29.0 0 4 0.0

1/07/2002 11 28 39.3 8 31 25.8 0 4 0.0

1/07/2005 13 28 46.4 8 33 24.2 1 6 16.7

1/07/2008 14 32 43.8 9 32 28.1 1 5 20.0

1/07/2011 14 32 43.8 8 28 28.6 2 5 40.0

Total 126 817 15.4 128 708 18.1 13 150 8.7

Source: Parliamentary Handbook

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

22

Table 7.3: Percentage of women in House of Representatives by major party, 1943-2011

Date ALP LIB NAT

Female Total % Female Total % Female Total %

21/08/1943 0 49 0.0 1 12 8.3 0 12 0.0

28/09/1946 0 43 0.0 1 17 5.9 0 12 0.0

10/12/1949 0 48 0.0 1 55 1.8 0 19 0.0

28/04/1951 0 54 0.0 0 52 0.0 0 17 0.0

29/05/1954 0 59 0.0 0 47 0.0 0 17 0.0

10/12/1955 0 49 0.0 0 57 0.0 0 18 0.0

22/11/1958 0 47 0.0 0 58 0.0 0 19 0.0

9/12/1961 0 62 0.0 0 45 0.0 0 17 0.0

30/11/1963 0 52 0.0 0 52 0.0 0 20 0.0

26/11/1966 0 41 0.0 1 61 1.6 0 21 0.0

25/10/1969 0 59 0.0 0 46 0.0 0 20 0.0

2/12/1972 0 67 0.0 0 38 0.0 0 20 0.0

18/05/1974 1 66 1.5 0 40 0.0 0 21 0.0

13/12/1975 0 36 0.0 0 68 0.0 0 23 0.0

10/12/1977 0 38 0.0 0 67 0.0 0 19 0.0

18/10/1980 3 51 5.9 0 54 0.0 0 20 0.0

5/03/1983 6 75 8.0 0 33 0.0 0 17 0.0

1/12/1984 7 82 8.5 1 45 2.2 0 21 0.0

11/07/1987 8 86 9.3 1 43 2.3 0 19 0.0

24/03/1990 7 78 9.0 3 55 5.5 0 14 0.0

13/03/1993 9 80 11.3 4 49 8.2 0 16 0.0

2/03/1996 4 49 8.2 17 76 22.4 1 18 5.6

30/10/1998 16 67 23.9 15 64 23.4 2 16 12.5

10/11/2001 20 65 30.8 16 68 23.5 2 14 14.3

9/10/2004 20 60 33.3 15 75 20.0 2 12 16.7

24/11/2007 27 83 32.5 12 55 21.8 1 10 10.0

21/08/2010 23 72 31.9 13 60 21.7 1 12 8.3

Total 151 1618 9.3 101 1392 7.3 9 464 1.9

Source: Parliamentary Handbook

The following summarises some of the ways in which the different parties have responded to the issue of women’s political participation and parliamentary representation in recent decades. (See Appendix 6 for a summary of the pros and cons of quotas for women candidates.)

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

23

Affirmative action and quotas

Whilst gender quotas of different kinds are widely used internationally to increase women’s participation in national parliaments, they have been somewhat controversial in the Australian context. In 1981 the ALP Conference endorsed affirmative action principles whereby women were to hold 25 per cent of all internal party positions. In 1994 the ALP adopted a mandatory 35 per cent preselection quota for women in winnable seats at all elections by 2002.48 The proportion of female candidates preselected rose from 14.5 per cent in the 1994 election to 35.6 per cent in the 2010 election. As Hutch Hussein points out, these figures clearly demonstrate how the rule changes within the ALP have helped to achieve greater gender equality in Australia’s parliaments. 49 From 1 January 2012 a 40:40:20 quota system will apply ‘to produce an outcome where not less than 40% of seats held by Labor will be filled by women, and not less than 40% by men’. The remaining 20 per cent may be filled by candidates of either gender.50 There is pressure within the party to increase the quota to 50 per cent.

The Coalition parties (Liberal Party and the Nationals) have not adopted affirmative action measures for their respective parties’ parliamentary wings on the basis that gender quotas contradict the principle of merit. The Liberal Party uses women’s networks within the party, and provides support and mentoring to encourage women who stand for preselection. According to the Liberals’ Federal Women’s Committee, ‘*w+hilst the Liberal Party does not support the ALP’s quota system, the Party is aware that women of merit can be overlooked in our preselections processes, often because they lack the support and mentoring system that is often behind successful candidates’.51

In 2010, Liberal Senator Judith Troeth prepared a policy paper noting that from 1944 the Liberal Party had reserved 50 per cent of the Victorian Division’s executive positions, and that these arrangements had survived the party’s ‘recent radical reform’ in Victoria. She called for the introduction of a quota system for the Victorian Division to endorse women for preselection in a minimum of 40 per cent of its seats for the Commonwealth election’ to be held in August 2010, recommended that the quota be increased to 45 per cent within a five year period, and that women comprise 50 per cent of training candidates.52

48. ‘Our history’, EMILY’s List Australia, viewed 18 November 2011, http://www.emilyslist.org.au/about-us/our-history 49. H Hussein, ‘Why changing the rules matters—lessons from the ALP’s Affirmative Action quota’, ABC Drum Unleashed, 8 March 2011, viewed 5 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F612312%2

2

50. J Curtin and K Sexton, ‘Selecting and electing women to the House of Representatives: progress at last?’, Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Adelaide, 29 September-1 October 2004, p. 32. 51. Liberal Party of Australia, Federal Women’s Committee, viewed 4 January 2012, http://www.nsw.liberal.org.au/index.php?searchword=quota&ordering=&searchphrase=all&option=com_search 52. Senator the Hon J Troeth, ’Modernising the parliamentary Liberal Party by adopting the organisational wing’s quota

system for preselections’, Policy paper, 23 June 2010, viewed 18 November 2011, http://inside.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/troeth.pdf. As yet there has been no action on the proposal (J Troeth, pers. comm., 5 March 2012).

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

24

Party commitment to gender equity

Rule 10 of the ALP’s current National Constitution commits the party to having equal numbers of men and women at all levels in the organisation and in preselection for public office.53 The Liberal Party has a long history of women’s representation on the Federal Executive. The Federal Women’s Committee (FWC) was established in 1945 at the inaugural meeting of the Liberal Party Federal Council in August 1945, and incorporated in the party’s Constitution in October 1946. The FWC has had representation on the party’s Federal Executive since then, and actively promotes women for elected office. The Liberal Party’s state branches have their own peak women’s councils.54 The party’s federal Constitution also requires the vice-president of the party to be a woman, and the federal party and some of the state divisions have designated organisational positions for women.

The Nationals provide opportunities for women to participate in the party and seek leadership or parliamentary office. In the 1970s, the National Party Constitution included an affirmative action strategy for increasing female membership of the Central Council. Two new positions were created with one to be filled by a woman. A special session on women in politics was held during the NSW National Party Annual Conference in 1995, prompting a 12 month review of practices by the National Party Women’s Committee. It recommended that the party should create a register of female potential candidates, conduct training and mentoring programs, invite each electorate council to include at least two women in preselection candidates, and other measures.

Amongst the minor parties, both the Australian Greens and the Australian Democrats have embraced gender equity as a founding principle in their respective organisations. The Greens attribute their higher female representation in parliament to the party’s open decision making and preselection processes, a strong emphasis on grassroots membership, and the party’s acceptance of gender equity as a core principle.55 The state Greens parties have also adopted specific strategies. The NSW Greens’ Constitution, for example, requires the state party to attempt to achieve at least 50 per cent representation by women as well as membership from rural and regional areas and amongst minority and disadvantaged groups.56

Training, mentoring and networking

The ALP’s National Labor Women’s Network, launched in 1996 at the National ALP Conference, represents all women members of the party. It encourages women ‘to participate in all levels of the Party’s structure, the government and public life’.57 EMILY’s List is a women’s network established by

53. National Constitution of the ALP, 2009, p. 11, viewed 12 December 2011, http://www.alp.org.au/getattachment/07dacd1a-3e6c-498f-b722-548c222a0f5e/our-platform/ 54. ‘Liberal Women’, Liberal Party website, viewed 18 November 2011, http://www.liberal.org.au/The-Party/Liberal-Women.aspx 55. ‘Policies: Women’, The Greens website, viewed 12 December 2011, http://greens.org.au/policies/care-for-

people/women 56. Constitution of The Greens NSW, clause 1.4, adopted 16 October 1993, amended August 2009, viewed 7 March 2012, http://nsw.greens.org.au/meet-nsw-greens/constitution-of-the-greens-nsw/ 57. National Labor Women’s Network, Australian Labor Party, http://lwn.alp.org.au/

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

25

prominent Labor women in 1996 to provide financial, political and personal support for the election of ‘progressive’ Labor women candidates who are committed to pro-choice positions on abortion and other gender equity issues. The EMILY’s List’s Lift the Target campaign has been instrumental in raising the preselection quota for women, and the group actively supports Labor women’s campaigns in parliamentary elections Australia-wide.58

The Liberal Party encourages women’s preselection through a range of mentoring, training and support mechanisms. In addition to the work of the FWC, the party’s state branches have their own peak women’s councils that provide advocacy and support. The Women’s Council of the NSW Liberal Party, for example, aims to increase representation, membership, and awareness of issues concerning women.59 The Women’s Federal Council (WFC) of the Nationals promotes and supports women to take on leadership roles, with a particular focus on increasing the involvement of women in policy, politics and decision-making within the party. The WFC is chaired by an elected President, who is a member of Federal Management Committee.60

Cultural and social barriers and issues

Recent international research has also drawn attention to the social and cultural factors that influence both the level (sometimes called ‘descriptive or symbolic representation’) and contribution (or ‘substantive representation’) of women parliamentarians.61 Some researchers emphasise the symbolic importance of women’s political participation, arguing that lower levels of representation directly impact on how citizens generally perceive their level of inclusion in the polity. As newly-elected Labor MP Zoe Bettison recently stated in her first speech to the South Australian House of Assembly, ‘*e+qual participation of women in politics is essential to building and sustaining democracy’.62 A recent US study notes that ‘[w]omen in public office stand as symbols for other women, both enhancing their identification with the system and their ability to have influence within it.’63 The study found that prevailing perceptions of traditional social roles still actively discourage women from standing as political candidates. Even where women do stand for election, they are less likely than men to seek leadership positions or to be motivated by political ambition.

58. EMILY stands for Early Money is Like Yeast, referring to the benefits of early campaign funding for women candidates. The original EMILY’s List was established to raise funds for pro-choice Democrat women candidates in the United States in 1985. EMILY’s List Australia, viewed 18 November 2011, http://www.emilyslist.org.au/about-us/our-history; M Sawer, ‘When women support women...EMILY’s List and the substantive representation of women in Australia’, in Sawer et al, Representing women in parliament, op.cit, pp. 103-19.

59. ‘Liberal women’, Liberal Party website, viewed 18 November 2011, http://www.liberal.org.au/The-Party/Liberal-Women.aspx

60. ‘The Nationals’ women’, The Nationals website, viewed 18 November 2011, http://www.nationals.org.au/AboutTheNationals/OurStructure/TheNationalsWomen.aspx 61. Hannah Pitkin first distinguished between ‘descriptive’ representation describing the numbers of women parliamentarians, and ‘substantive’ representation describing how far women act on behalf of women in

parliament. See Sawer, Tremblay and Trimble, Representing women in parliament, op. cit., p. 15. 62. D Wills, ‘We need more female MPs’, Adelaide Advertiser, 29 February 2012, p. 21, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1459687%

22

63. B Burrell, cited in JL Lawless, Becoming a candidate: Political ambition and the decision to run for office, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012, p. 8.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

26

Rather, they tend to focus on political involvement at a local level, and to be more motivated by community issues.64

Standing for election

One factor that has historically influenced the number of women seeking election to Australian parliaments relates to their personal circumstances and networks. In a study of 36 women political candidates contesting the 1982 Victorian state election, political scientists Marian Sawer and Marian Simms found that most had experienced conflict between campaigning whilst meeting their family and childcare responsibilities. They also encountered prejudice from those who thought that women were not equipped to deal with ‘hard’ policies such as economics, suggesting that the party would lose votes at election because of their gender. According to one successful candidate, the disadvantages of being a woman candidate in the 1980s could be summed up as having ‘weaker access to established power networks..., lack of accumulated income’, and the strain of juggling campaigning with family responsibilities.65

Since the 1980s, lack of access to established networks is less likely to be an issue for women standing for election because successful candidates are increasingly coming from professions that equip them for their political careers. As the following table illustrates, women entering the Commonwealth Parliament are now more likely to come from occupational backgrounds similar to those of their male colleagues. In 1988, teaching was the most common occupation amongst women in the Senate, whilst their male colleagues in both Houses tended to come from occupations in law, business management, unions and other professional or administrative roles. By 2008, there were fewer parliamentarians coming from a career in education, and women and men were tending to come from professional careers in law, business management and professional or administrative roles in the House of Representatives, and unions, politics and business management in the Senate. As Marian Sawer notes, this means that women are more likely to have the professional networks that inform their political careers, as well as enabling them to ‘work collectively’ with other women and represent the interests of their constituents.66

While data has not been collected for this paper in relation to the seniority of women prior to entering parliament, recent research suggests that women are poorly represented in senior positions. A 2011 study of the legal profession in New South Wales, for example, revealed that whilst the number of female solicitors in the state had increased to 46 per cent since 1988 (compared to 65 per cent for men), there was only one female managing partner in the biggest 30 firms in Australia.

64. Ibid., pp. 58, 71-2. 65. M Sawer and M Simms, A woman’s place: women and politics in Australia, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1993, pp. 71-2. 66. Sawer, ‘When women support women’, op. cit., p. 117.

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Of those law firms with 40 or more partners, only 23 per cent were women, and the figure was even lower in mid-sized and small law firms.67

Table 8.1: Previous occupations by gender in Senate, 1988, 2008 and 2011 compared

Occupation* Year

1988 2008 2011

M F Total M F Total M F Total

Barristers, solicitors, legal 7 3 10 5 3 8 6 5 11

Business executives, managers 11 2 13 13 5 18 11 4 15

Farmers and graziers 4 - 4 2 2 4 1 1 2

Lecturers, professors, teachers 5 6 11 4 2 6 2 1 3

Local government official - - - - 1 1 - 1 1

Medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, other health professionals 3 3 6 1 - 1 2 - 2

Members of state/territory legislatures 3 - 3 2 - 2 2 3 5

Other professional and administrators 8 2 10 5 2 7 2 2 4

Party and union administrators and officials 14 - 14 13 5 18 15 5 20

Political consultants, advisers 2 - 2 2 6 8 1 6 7

Public service/policy managers and administrators 1 - 1 - 1 1 - 1 1

Researchers, research assistants, electoral and project officers 2 - 2 2 - 2 3 1 4

Tradespersons - - - - - - 1 - 1

Total 60 16 76 49 27 76 46 30 76

*Occupation immediately prior to entering the Commonwealth Parliament

Source: Summary of data compiled by M Lumb from Parliamentary Handbook 68

67. L Farrow, ‘A glass ceiling, of torts’, Daily Telegraph, 2 December 2011, viewed 20 February 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressclp%2F1266556% 22

68. Parliamentary Handbook, op. cit.

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Table 8.2: Previous occupations by gender in House of Representatives, 1988, 2008 and 2011 compared

Occupation* Year

1988 2008 2011

M F Total M F Total M F Total

Barristers, solicitors, legal 19 1 20 13 8 21 10 9 19

Business executives, managers 25 - 25 25 9 34 32 10 42

Farmers and graziers 14 - 14 7 - 7 6 0 6

Lecturers, professors, teachers 14 2 16 1 - 1 1 1 2

Local government official - - - - 1 1 1 1 2

Medical practitioners, dentists, nurses, other health professionals 5 1 6 3 - 3 3 1 4

Members of state/territory legislatures 13 1 14 8 1 9 7 1 8

Other professional and administrators 23 2 25 12 6 18 11 2 13

Party and union administrators and officials 12 - 12 16 4 20 14 2 16

Political consultants, advisers 3 - 3 18 5 23 22 3 25

Public service/policy managers and administrators 5 - 5 5 2 7 4 5 9

Researchers, research assistants, electoral and project officers 5 3 8 3 4 7 2 2 4

Total 138 10 148 111 39 150 113 37 150

*Occupation immediately prior to entering the Commonwealth Parliament

Source: Summary of data compiled by M Lumb from Parliamentary Handbook 69

Local government service

Local government service is an important factor in considering women’s parliamentary participation, since many women begin their parliamentary careers by being elected to local councils.70 According to the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government, Australia has 565 local governments. In February 2008, the LGMA National Board adopted a national strategy to advance women in local government into senior management positions. A key strategy platform is the development and promotion of a Year of Women in Local Government in 2010. In 2011, women comprised 27.8 per cent of elected representatives, and women held about five per cent of chief executive officer positions. The Australian Local Government Association notes that, despite efforts to increase

69. Parliamentary Handbook, op. cit. 70. Since 1984, 19 women elected to the Commonwealth Parliament have previously served in local government. See Parliamentary Handbook, op. cit.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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women’s participation in elected and executive roles, the proportion of women elected to local government has changed little in the past 20 years.71

Table 9: Women in local government

State Candidates Elected representatives Mayors

State Total Female %

Female

Total Female %

Female Total Female %

Female

NSW (2008) 4441 1480 33 1455 387 27 148 34 23

Vic (2008) 1975 612 31 631 188 30 79 18 23

Qld (2008) 1363 423 31 480 167 35 61 11 16

WA (2009) 1050 312 30 693 196 28 128 31 24

SA (2010) 1274 362 28 647 179 28 67 14 21

Tas (2009) 291 76 26 281 38 27 27 7 27

NT (2008) 206 66 32 147 51 34 16 4 25

TOTAL 10 600 3331 31.4 4334 1206 27.8 526 119 22.6

Source: Data compiled by Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government and supplied by the Australian Local Government Association, 27 October 2011

In the parliament

For most of the twentieth century, women were either absent or present in very small numbers in Australia’s parliaments, and the values, rules, procedures and practice that prevail have been largely shaped by male parliamentarians. The proportion of women parliamentarians has grown steadily since the 1980s, and some reforms have been introduced that go some way to addressing these changes. On 30 June 1994, for example, the House of Representatives passed a resolution requiring that references to members should be made using gender-inclusive pronouns, including ‘chair’ rather than ‘chairman’. The Standing Orders were amended accordingly on 9 November 1994.72 The Westminster system of representative democracy has also meant that the style of politics in the chambers tends to be confrontational, reinforced by the ‘majoritarian’ model of government versus opposition together with strong party discipline. Political scientists Marian Sawer, Manon Tremblay and Linda Trimble argue that this model of democracy makes cooperation on areas of interest to women more difficult on the floor of the chamber, suggesting that women parliamentarians find more scope for cross-party cooperation on committees.73 In a rare example of cross-party

71. ACELG Fact Sheet 1: Basic facts about Australian local government (compiled July 2011), viewed 27 October 2011, http://www.acelg.org.au/upload/program1/1316678480_Fact_Sheet_1.pdf; Australian Local Government Association, Women in politics: showing the way in 2010, ALGA, Deakin,Parliament 2010, p. 2, viewed 27 October 2011 http://www.alga.asn.au/site/misc/alga/downloads/womeninpol/ALGA_WomenInPolitics.pdf; 2010 was declared the Year of Women in Local Government and included a national awards and accreditation program ‘50:50 Vision - Councils for Gender Equity.

72. Changes in language used in the Senate are less clear: two committees, for example, still use the term ‘chairman’. 73. M Sawer, M Tremblay and L Trimble, ‘Introduction: Patterns and practice in the parliamentary representation of women’, in Sawer et al, Representing women in parliament, op. cit., p. 5. They draw on political scientist Arend

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

30

cooperation in 2005, four women from the ALP, Australian Democrats, Liberal Party, and Nationals joined together in a private members’ bill to remove ministerial power over the use of the ‘abortion pill’, RU486.74 Women’s rights activist, Sara Dowse, noted in 2009: ‘The fact that a vote like the one on RU486 has yet to be repeated prompts some reflection. For how well does our parliament actually serve the citizens it’s designed to represent, if women, who comprise over half the voting population, still constitute less than a third of the parliament?’75

Portfolios

Former Commonwealth MP and academic, Mary Crawford states that, despite increasing numbers of women in parliaments in industrialised democracies such as Australia, in many ways they remain ‘gendered organisations’.76 She argues that a ‘gendered division of labour’ is evident, for example, in the types of ministries traditionally allocated to women in the Commonwealth Parliament. Annabelle Rankin, as Minister for Housing, became the first woman to administer a Commonwealth department in 1966. Since then, 43 women have served as ministers (Cabinet and non-Cabinet) and parliamentary secretaries in the Commonwealth Parliament (see Appendix 3 for a full list of portfolios held by women in the Commonwealth Parliament). The majority of portfolios held by women have dealt with social and cultural services including the status of women, community services and housing, ageing, employment, training and workplace relations, education, health, sport, tourism, Indigenous affairs, arts, housing, local government, and social security.

Few women have held the more senior portfolios associated with matters of government, defence, foreign affairs, justice, finance, infrastructure and communications. The exceptions include the 2011 appointment of Nicola Roxon as Attorney-General, the finance and revenue portfolios held by Dame Senator Margaret Guilfoyle, Senator Penny Wong and Senator Helen Coonan respectively, as well as portfolios dealing with the environment (held by Ros Kelly MP), and climate change, energy efficiency and water (Senator Penny Wong). No woman has yet held been appointed as Minister for Defence, Foreign Affairs or Transport, although women have served in more junior roles as Minister for Defence Science and Personnel and Minister assisting the Minister for Defence. Crawford notes that a ‘further hierarchy’ was created with the distinction between the inner ministry or Cabinet and the outer ministry. Data compiled for Cabinet and the outer ministry from 1975 to 1997 show that women were more likely to hold places outside, rather than inside, Cabinet although, by 2011, the proportion of women was similar in both (see Table 2 above).77 Journalist, Catherine Fox, has

Lijphart’s description of the Westminster parliament ‘majoritarian’ model with government on one side of the chamber and the opposition on the other. 74. Senators Claire Moore (ALP), Lynette Allison (DEM), Judith Troeth (LIB) and Fiona Nash (NAT). 75. ‘A different kind of politics’, Inside Story, 19 December 2009, viewed 20 February 2012, http://inside.org.au/a-different-kind-of-politics/ 76. M Crawford and B Pini, ‘Gender Equality in National Politics: The Views of Australian Male Politicians’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 45, no. 4, December 2010, pp. 608-10. 77. J Curtin, Women in Australian federal Cabinet, Research Note no. 40, 1996-7, Parliamentary Library, viewed 21 February 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/library/prspub/EMB30/upload_binary/EMB30.pdf;fileType=applicati on/pdf#search=%22women%20in%20australian%20federal%20cabinet%22

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recently argued that ‘*w+hen you normalise women’s presence in leadership and senior ranks’, women are no longer treated as a minority group and are less likely to be subject to the type of ‘scrutiny and double standards’ that women have experienced in senior positions such as those in parliaments and on boards.78

Table 10: Portfolios held by women in Commonwealth Parliament, 1943-2011

Portfolio Total women

Status of women 11

Community services, families, housing 7

Ageing, aged care, veterans affairs 5

Employment, workplace relations, workforce participation, training 5

Education 4

Health 4

Sport 3

Defence industry, science and personnel, assisting Minister for Defence 3

Finance, revenue 3

Indigenous affairs, employment, justice 3

Tourism 3

Arts 2

Environment, climate change, energy efficiency and water 2

Executive positions* 2

Housing 2

Local government 2

Social security 2

Telecommunications 2

Consumer affairs 1

Early childhood, childcare 1

Attorney-General 1

Human services 1

Immigration, multicultural affairs 1

Justice 1

Special minister for state 1

Small business 1

Social inclusion 1

Special Minister for State 1

Youth 1

*including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and Vice-President of the Executive Council

78. Fox, ‘Gillard’s performance does not define women’, op. cit.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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Source: Summary of data compiled from Parliamentary Handbook

Parliamentary committees

Crawford has found a similar trend in Commonwealth parliamentary committee representation. As noted above, the role of committee chair is regarded as a stepping stone to senior political positions, and the roles are highly sought after. Crawford observed that those committees considered to have a higher status are typically dominated by men—foreign affairs, economic and financial matters and security and terrorism issues—whilst women are typically found on the ‘less prestigious and powerful’ committees dealing with ‘soft’ or ‘nurturing’ issues including health, education and welfare.79

Parliamentary researcher Sonia Palmieri, in her work on women chairs of committees between 1987 and 2008, has identified a number of factors that influence the selection of committee chairs. These include the chamber in which they sit, their political party, their experience as deputy chair, and their expertise in relevant fields prior to entering parliament. She notes that the number and range of House of Representatives committees chaired by women has ‘improved significantly’ since the 1980s, reflecting the increase in the number of women MPs as well as their range of experience prior to entering parliament. She also notes particular trends, as well as different patterns, that have emerged between the two chambers. The House of Representatives, for example, has a strong tradition of appointing women to procedural committees, whilst relatively few women have chaired joint committees (which tend to deal with higher status issues such as foreign affairs).

In the Senate, which has a higher proportion of women than in the House and a more complex committee structure, Palmieri found a correspondingly greater number of women chairs of committees dealing with a more diverse range of subjects. She also noted that the separation of Senate general purpose standing committees into legislation (chaired by government members), and reference (chaired by opposition members), means that women are able to work closely in pairs in relation to specific portfolio areas.80 However, in the 43rd Parliament, women chair joint committees dealing with clean energy, cybersafety, public works and migration, suggesting a move away from the more traditional or ‘soft’ issues.

Children in parliament

In 1983 Ros Kelly became the first woman to have a baby while serving in the Commonwealth Parliament. Since then a number of female parliamentarians have had children whilst in office and there have been several instances where very young children have been brought into the chambers. The presence of children in the chambers has attracted a range of responses from presiding officers,

79. M Crawford, ‘Gender and the Australian Parliament’, Online Opinion, 8 May 2007, viewed 20 February 2012, http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/print.asp?article=5808 80. Palmieri, ‘Gender mainstreaming in the Australian Parliament’, op.cit. As Palmieri notes, the designation of committee chair is determined by the rules of each chamber: chairs of House of Representatives and Joint

committees are drawn from the governing party; in the Senate some committees are chaired by government whilst others are chaired by opposition or minor parties.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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parliamentary colleagues, and the media.81 Most notably, in 2009, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s two-year old child was removed from the Chamber during a division after a ruling by the President of the Senate relating to access by ‘strangers’ or ‘visitors’. This incident became the focus for a wider debate about work-life balance for parliamentarians, and drew attention to the competing demands of a modern workplace, ensuring that a nation’s democratically elected members can fully participate in the parliament, and upholding the rules of parliamentary practice.

With the increase in the number of women having children whilst in office, there have also been cross-party calls for family-friendly reforms to the parliamentary environment and its practices. In recent years, some measures have been put into place to accommodate the parenting needs of parliamentarians, staff, and members of the public visiting Parliament House. These have included an on-site childcare facility, rooms for breast-feeding mothers, and a special provision for proxy voting by nursing mothers during divisions in the House of Representatives.82

Conclusion

Australia was one of the first countries in the world to grant women full political rights, but it was one of the last Western countries to elect women to its national Parliament.83 One hundred and ten years after the first women contested a Commonwealth election, only one-quarter of Members in the House of Representatives and a little more than one-third of Senators are women. Despite the presence of several high-profile women in Commonwealth, state and territory parliaments in recent years, including Australia’s first female Prime Minister (in 2010) and Attorney-General (in 2011), women continue to be significantly under-represented in Australia’s parliaments, within Cabinets, and in senior ministries and parliamentary positions. Under-representation remains a significant challenge, both structurally and culturally, for Australia’s parliaments. Academic studies suggest that the under-representation of women in our elected parliaments has a significant impact on how women generally perceive their level of inclusion in society.

Recent studies of women in Australia’s parliaments also indicate that, in addition to the numbers, there are still significant social and cultural factors that inhibit women from participating on an equal basis as men, particularly where party loyalty is paramount. The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and parliamentary associations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, are focusing on ways to encourage national parliaments to better accommodate women. The IPU’s 2008

81. See Table 2: Children brought into the parliamentary chambers, in M Rodrigues, Children in the parliamentary chambers, Parliamentary Library Research Paper no. 9, 2009-10, 19 November 2009, p. 13, viewed 15 February 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22library%2Fprspub%2FY39V6%22

82. Ibid, pp. 20-2. On 12 February 2008, the House of Representatives passed a resolution allowing nursing mothers to vote by proxy ‘for any division except that on the third reading of a bill which proposes an alteration of the Constitution’. In doing so it recognised that Members required to nurse infants may not always be able to attend in the Chamber to vote in divisions. The provision was first used on 20 October 2008 by Mrs Sophie Mirabella. See House of Representatives Votes and Proceedings, 12 February 2008, item 27, pp. 27-8, viewed 20 February 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/chamber/votes/2008-02-12/toc_pdf/RVPF001.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22chamber/votes/2008-02-12/0027%22

83. Women in the Senate, op. cit.

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global study of women in parliament, Equality in politics: a survey of women and men in parliament, stated that parliaments have a key role to play in mainstreaming gender in society as a whole as well as within the parliamentary environment itself. The IPU advocated a gender-sensitive parliament that will respond to ‘the needs and interests of both men and women in its work as a nation’s peak legislative institution’.84 It found that ‘women are overwhelmingly the main drivers of progress in gender equality in parliament but that parliaments, as institutions, also have responsibilities’.85

In order to assist parliaments to fulfil their responsibilities in what it calls ‘gender mainstreaming’, the IPU examined the issue of gender-sensitivity in parliaments around the world and published a detailed report outlining current best practice in achieving gender equality. One practice adopted is for parliaments to establish a dedicated gender equality committee to help mainstream a gender perspective throughout parliamentary work.86 The author, Sonia Palmieri, has also undertaken an examination of how far the Australian Parliament has embraced gender mainstreaming since the 1990s.87 Dr Palmieri notes that ‘*g+ender equality is not guaranteed simply by the presence of women in parliament. It also depends on a parliament’s gender sensitivity and awareness, its policies and infrastructure’. Gender-sensitive parliaments ‘remove the barriers to women’s full participation and offer a positive example or model to society at large’.88

84. S Palmieri, Gender-sensitive parliaments: a global review of good practice, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Reports and Documents no. 65, 2011, p. 6, viewed 20 January 2012, http://www.ipu.org/pdf/publications/gsp11-e.pdf The United Nations defined gender mainstreaming in 1997 as ‘the process of ensuring that policies and practices meet the needs of men and women equitably’. 85. AB Johnsson, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union, ‘Foreword, in ibid. 86. Ibid., p. 40. The report was released in December 2011. 87. Palmieri, Gender mainstreaming in the Australian Parliament, op.cit. 88. Ibid., p. 2.

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Appendices

Appendix 1: Women in national parliaments—comparative rankings of top 50 countries as at 30 June 2011 (2008 and 2001 compared)89

Rank Country House or chamber Comparative ranking

2011 Lower or single

House

% Female

Upper House or Senate

% Female

2008 2001

1 Rwanda 56.3 34.6 1 18

2 Andorra 53.6 - 35 48

3 Sweden 45.0 - 2 1

4 South Africa 44.5 29.6 15 10

5 Cuba 43.2 - 3 12

6 Iceland 42.9 - 13 6

7 Finland 42.5 - 4 3

8 Norway 39.6 - 10 5

9 Belgium 39.3 36.6 11 22

“ Netherlands 39.3 36.0 6 4

10 Mozambique 39.2 - 12 9

11 Angola 38.6 - 77 43

“ Costa Rica 38.6 - 8 31

12 Argentina 38.5 35.2 5 15

13 Denmark 38.0 - 7 2

14 Spain 36.6 32.3 9 11

15 United Republic of Tanzania 36.0 - 21 24

16 Uganda 34.9 - 19 ?

17 New Zealand 33.6 - 14 8

18 Nepal 33.2 - 16 95

19 Germany 32.8 21.7 18 7

20 Ecuador 32.3 - 35 46

21 Burundi 32.1 46.3 20 47

22 Belarus 31.8 32.8 23 65

23 The FYR of Macedonia 30.9 - 17 91

24 Guyana 30.0 - 24 34

25 Timor-Leste 29.2 - 22 -

26 Switzerland 29.0 21.7 25 23

89. A full list of countries with comparative IPU rankings is available from the Parliamentary Library.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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Rank Country House or chamber Comparative ranking

27 Trinidad and Tobago 28.6 25.8 29 58

28 Austria 27.9 29.5 16 13

29 Ethiopia 27.8 16.3 47 84

30 Afghanistan 27.7 27.5 27 -

31 Portugal 26.5 - 26 33

“ South Sudan 26.5 10.0 - -

32 Mexico 26.2 22.7 41 42

33 Monaco 26.1 - 35 25

34 Bolivia 25.4 47.2 68 57

35 Iraq 25.2 - 33 85

36 Sudan 25.1 17.9 65 70

37 Lao People’s Democratic Republic 25.0 - 34 27

38 Australia 24.7 38.2 31 21

“ Canada 24.7 35.9 52 26

39 Namibia 24.4 26.9 28 19

“ Viet Nam 24.4 - 31 17

40 Lesotho 24.2 18.2 35 104

41 Liechtenstein 24.0 - 37 ?

42 Croatia 23.5 - 52 29

“ Seychelles 23.5 - 38 21

43 Kyrgyzstan 23.3 - 32 67

44 Senegal 22.7 40.0 46 40

45 United Arab Emirates 22.5 - 44 118

46 Pakistan 22.2 17.0 “ -

“ Singapore 22.2 - 36 92

47 Mauritania 22.1 14.3 45 104

“ Philippines 22.1 13.0 54 ?

48 Czech Republic 22.0 18.5 74 44

“ Eritrea 22.0 - 46 45

“ United Kingdom 22.0 20.1 59 36

“ Uzbekistan 22.0 15.0 66 88

49 Serbia 21.6 - 50 -

50 Peru 21.5 - 22 35

Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union, Women in national parliaments, world classification, 31 August 2011, 31 August 2008 and 12 October 2001, viewed 4 November 2011, http://www.ipu.org/wmn-e/world.htm

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Appendix 2: Women in the Commonwealth Parliament, 1943-2011

Senate

Name Party State Period of service

1. Tangney, Dorothy (DBE 1968) ALP WA 21.8.1943-30.6.1968 defeated at 1967 Senate election

2. Rankin, Annabelle (DBE 1957) LIB Qld 1.7.1947-24.5.1971 resigned

3. Robertson, Agnes LIB; CP WA 10.12.1949-30.6.1962 retired

4. Wedgwood, Ivy (DBE 1967) LIB Vic. 10.12.1949-30.6.1971 retired

5. Buttfield, Nancy (DBE 1972) LIB SA 11.10.1955-30.6.1965; 1.7.1968-11.4.1974 retired

6. Breen, Marie OBE (OBE 1958; DBE 1979) LIB Vic 1.7.1962-30.6.1968 retired

7. Guilfoyle, Margaret (DBE 1979) LIB Vic 1.7.1971-5.6.1987 retired

8. Coleman, Ruth ALP WA 18.5.1974-5.6.1987 retired

9. Martin (later Sullivan), Kathy* LIB Qld 18.5.1974-5.11.1984 resigned; elected to House of Representatives

10. Melzer, Jean ALP Vic 18.5.1974-30.6.1981 defeated at 1980 elections

11. Ryan, Susan ALP ACT 13.12.1975-29.1.1988 resigned

12. Walters, Shirley LIB Tas 13.12.1975-30.6.1993 retired

13. Haines, Janine DEM SA 14.12.1977-30.6.1978 retired; 1.7.1981 - 1.3.1990

resigned; contested House of Representatives

14. Hearn, Jean ALP Tas 15.10.1980-30.6.1985 retired

15. Bjelke-Petersen, Florence NCP; NPA Qld 12.3.1981-30.6.1993 retired

16. Reid, Margaret LIB ACT 5.5.1981-14.2.2003 resigned

17. Giles, Patricia ALP WA 1.7.1981-30.6.1993 retired

18. Crowley, Rosemary ALP SA 5.3.1983-30.6.2002 retired

19. Reynolds, Margaret ALP Qld 5.3.1983-30.6.1999 retired

20. Zakharov, Olive ALP Vic 5.3.1983-6.3.1995 died

21. Knowles, Susan LIB WA 1.12.1984-30.6.2005 retired

22. Vanstone, Amanda LIB SA 1.12.1984-26.4.2007 resigned

23. Vallentine, Jo NDP;

IND; GWA

WA 1.7.1985-31.1.1992 resigned

24. Newman, Jocelyn LIB Tas 13.3.1986-1.2.2002 resigned

25. Powell, Janet DEM;

IND

Vic 26.8.1986-30.6.1993 defeated at 1993 elections

26. West, Sue ALP NSW 11.2.1987-5.6.1987 defeated at 1987 elections;

1.7.1990-30.6.2002 retired

27. Bishop, Bronwyn* LIB NSW 11.7.1987-24.2.1994 resigned; elected to House

of Representatives

28. Jenkins, Jean DEM WA 11.7.1987-30.6.1990 defeated at 1990 elections

29. Patterson, Kay LIB Vic 11.7.1987-30.6.2008 retired

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

38

Name Party State Period of service

30. Dunn, Irina NDP; IND NSW 21.7.1988-30.6.1990 defeated at 1990 elections

31. Lees, Meg DEM;

IND; APA SA 4.4.1990-30.6.2005 defeated at 2004 elections

32. Bourne, Vicki DEM NSW 1.7.1990-30.6.2002 defeated at 2001 elections

33. Kernot, Cheryl* DEM Qld 1.7.1990-15.10.1997 resigned; later elected to

House of Representatives

34. Sowada, Karin DEM NSW 29.8.1991-30.6.1993 defeated at 1993 elections

35. Chamarette, Christabel GWA WA 12.3.1992-30.6.1996 defeated at 1996 elections

36. Margetts, Dee GWA WA 1.7.1993-30.6.1999 defeated at 1998 elections

37. Troeth, Judith LIB Vic 1.7.1993-30.6.2011 retired

38. Denman, Kay ALP Tas 24.8.1993-30.6.2005 retired

39. Neal, Belinda* ALP NSW 8.3.1994-3.9.1998 resigned; contested House of

Representatives

40. Collins, Jacinta ALP Vic 3.5.1995-30.6.2005 defeated at 2004 elections,

8.4.2008-

41. Stott Despoja, Natasha DEM SA 29.11.1995-30.6.2008 retired

42. Lundy, Kate ALP ACT 2.3.1996-

43. Mackay, Sue ALP Tas 8.3.1996-29.7.2005 resigned

44. Allison, Lynette DEM Vic 1.7.1996-30.6.2008 defeated at 2007 elections

45. Coonan, Helen LIB NSW 1.7.1996-22.8.2011 resigned

46. Ferris, Jeannie LIB SA 1.7.1996-12.7.1996+; 24.7.1996-2.4.2007 died

47. Gibbs, Brenda ALP Qld 1.7.1996-30.6.2002 defeated at 2001 elections

48. Payne, Marise LIB NSW 9.4.1997-

49. Synon, Karen LIB Vic. 13.5.1997-30.6.1999 defeated at 1998 elections

50. Crossin, Trish ALP NT 16.6.1998-

51. McLucas, Jan ALP Qld 1.7.1999-

52. Kirk, Linda ALP SA 1.7.2002-30.6.2008 retired

53. Moore, Claire ALP Qld 1.7.2002-

54. Nettle, Kerry AG NSW 1.7.2002-30.6.2008 defeated at 2007 elections

55. Stephens, Ursula ALP NSW 1.7.2002-

56. Webber, Ruth ALP WA 1.7.2002-30.6.2008 defeated at 2007 elections

57. Wong, Penny ALP SA 1.7.2002-

58. Fierravanti-Wells, Connie LIB NSW 5.5.2005-

59. Adams, Judith LIB WA 1.7.2005-

60. Hurley, Annette ALP SA 1.7.2005-30.6.2011 retired

61. McEwen, Anne ALP Qld 1.7.2005-

62. Milne, Christine GRN Tas 1.7.2005-

63. Nash, Fiona NAT NSW 1.7.2005-

64. Polley, Helen ALP Tas 1.7.2005-

65. Siewert, Rachel GRN WA 1.7.2005-

66. Wortley, Dana ALP SA 1.7.2005-30.6.2011 defeated at 2010 elections

67. Brown, Carol ALP Tas 25.8.2005-

68. Boyce, Sue LIB Qld 19.4.2007-

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

39

Name Party State Period of service

69. Fisher, Mary Jo LIB SA 6.6.2007-

70. Bilyk, Catryna ALP Tas 1.7.2008-

71. Cash, Michaelia LIB WA 1.7.2008-

72. Hanson-Young, Sarah AG SA 1.7.2008-

73. Kroger, Helen LIB Vic 1.7.2008-

74. Pratt, Louise ALP WA 1.7.2008-

75. McKenzie, Bridget NAT Vic 1.7.2011-

76. Rhiannon, Lee GRN NSW 1.7.2011-

77. Singh, Lisa ALP Tas 1.7.2011-

78. Urquhart, Anne ALP Tas 1.7.2011-

79. Waters, Larissa GRN Qld 1.7.2011-

80. Wright, Penny GRN SA 1.7.2011-

* Later served in the House of Representatives.

+ Resigned 12.7.1996.

House of Representatives

Name Party Election division Period of service

1. Lyons, Enid GBE, AD UAP/LIB Darwin (Tas) 21.8.1943-19.3.1951 retired

2. Blackburn, Doris IND LAB Bourke (Vic) 28.9.1946-10.12.1949 defeated

3. Brownbill, Kay LIB Kingston (SA) 26.11.1966-25.10.1969 defeated

4. Child, Joan ALP Henty (Vic) 18.5.1974-13.12.1975 defeated;

18.10.1980-19.2.1990 retired

5. Darling, Elaine ALP Lilley (Qld) 18.10.1980-8.2.1993 retired

6. Kelly, Ros ALP Canberra (ACT) 18.10.1980-30.1.1995 resigned

7. Fatin, Wendy ALP Canning (WA)

Brand (WA)

5.3.1983-1.12.1984 1.12.1984-29.1.1996 retired

8. McHugh, Jeannette ALP Brand (WA)

Phillip (NSW) Grayndler (NSW)

1.12.1984-29.1.1996 retired 5.3.1983-13.3.1993 13.3.1993-29.1.1996 retired

9. Mayer, Helen ALP Chisholm (Vic) 5.3.1983-11.7.1987 defeated

10. Jakobsen, Carolyn ALP Cowan (WA) 1.12.1984-13.3.1993 defeated

11. Sullivan (formerly Martin), Kathy* LIB Moncrieff (Qld) 1.12.1984-8.10.2001 retired

12. Crawford, Mary ALP Forde (Qld) 11.7.1987-2.3.1996 defeated

13. Harvey, Elizabeth ALP Hawker (SA) 11.7.1987-24.3.1990 defeated

14. Bailey, Fran LIB McEwen (Vic) 24.3.1990-13.3.1993 defeated;

2.3.1996-19.7.2010 retired

15. Crosio, Janice, MBE ALP Prospect (NSW) 24.3.1990-31.8.2004 retired

16. Gallus, Christine LIB Hawker (SA)

Hindmarsh (SA) 24.3.1990-13.3.1993 13.3.1993-31.8.2004 retired

17. Deahm, Maggie ALP Macquarie (NSW) 13.3.1993-2.3.1996 defeated

18. Easson, Mary ALP Lowe (NSW) 13.3.1993-2.3.1996 defeated

19. Henzell, Marjorie ALP Capricornia (Qld) 13.3.1993-2.3.1996 defeated

20. Moylan, Judith LIB Pearce (WA) 13.3.1993-

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

40

Name Party Election division Period of service

21. Smith, Silvia ALP Bass (Tas) 13.3.1993-2.3.1996 defeated

22. Worth, Trish LIB Adelaide (SA) 13.3.1993-9.10.2004 defeated

23. Lawrence, Carmen ALP Fremantle (WA) 12.3.1994-17.10.2007 retired

24. Bishop, Bronwyn* LIB Mackellar (NSW) 26.3.1994-

25. Draper, Trish LIB Makin (SA) 2.3.1996-17.10.2007 retired

26. Ellis, Annette ALP Namadgi (ACT)

Canberra (ACT) 2.3.1996-28.10.1998 28.10.1998-19.7.2010 retired

27. Elson, Kay LIB Forde (Qld) 2.3.1996-17.10.2007 retired

28. Gambaro, Teresa LIB Petrie (Qld)

Brisbane (Qld)

2.3.1996-24.11.2007 defeated 21.10.2010-

29. Gash, Joanna LIB Gilmore (NSW) 2.3.1996-

30. Grace, Elizabeth LIB Lilley (Qld) 2.3.1996-3.10.1998 defeated

31. Hanson, Pauline IND; PHON Oxley (Qld) 2.3.1996-3.10.1998 defeated

32. Jeanes, Susan LIB Kingston (SA) 2.3.1996-3.10.1998 defeated

33. Johnston, Ricky LIB Canning (WA) 2.3.1996-3.10.1998 defeated

34. Kelly, De-Anne NAT Dawson (Qld) 2.3.1996-24.11.2007 defeated

35. Kelly, Jackie LIB Lindsay (NSW) 2.3.1996-11.9.1996+;

19.10.1996-17.10.2007 retired

36. Macklin, Jenny ALP Jagajaga (Vic) 2.3.1996-

37. Stone, Sharman LIB Murray (Vic) 2.3.1996-

38. Vale, Danna LIB Hughes (NSW) 2.3.1996-19.7.2010 retired

39. West, Andrea LIB Bowman (Qld) 2.3.1996-3.10.1998 defeated

40. Bishop, Julie LIB Curtin (WA) 3.10.1998-

41. Burke, Anna ALP Chisholm (Vic) 3.10.1998-

42. Gerick, Jane ALP Canning (WA) 3.10.1998-10.11.2001 defeated

43. Gillard, Julia ALP Lalor (Vic) 3.10.1998-

44. Hall, Jill ALP Shortland (NSW) 3.10.1998-

45. Hoare, Kelly ALP Charlton (NSW) 3.10.1998-17.10.2007 retired

46. Hull, Kay NAT Riverina (NSW) 3.10.1998-19.7.2010 retired

47. Irwin, Julia ALP Fowler (NSW) 3.10.1998-19.7.2010 retired

48. Kernot, Cheryl* ALP Dickson (Qld) 3.10.1998-10.11.2001 defeated

49. Livermore, Kirsten ALP Capricornia (Qld) 3.10.1998-

50. McFarlane, Jann ALP Stirling (WA) 3.10.1998-9.10.2004 defeated

51. May, Margaret LIB McPherson (Qld) 3.10.1998-17.10.2007 retired

52. O'Byrne, Michelle ALP Bass (Tas) 3.10.1998-9.10.2004 defeated

53. Plibersek, Tanya ALP Sydney (NSW) 3.10.1998-

54. Roxon, Nicola ALP Gellibrand (Vic) 3.10.1998-

55. Corcoran, Ann ALP Isaacs (Vic) 12.8.2000-17.10.2007 retired

56. Short, Leonie ALP Ryan (Qld) 17.3.2001-10.11.2001 defeated

57. George, Jennie ALP Throsby (NSW) 10.11.2001-19.7.2010 retired

58. Grierson, Sharon ALP Newcastle (NSW) 10.11.2001-

59. Jackson, Sharryn ALP Hasluck (WA) 10.11.2001-9.10.2004 defeated

24.11.2007-21.8.2010 defeated

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

41

Name Party Election division Period of service

60. King, Catherine ALP Ballarat (Vic) 10.11.2001-

61. Ley, Sussan LIB Farrer (NSW) 10.11.2001-

62. Mirabella, Sophie LIB Indi (Vic) 10.11.2001-

63. Vamvakinou, Maria ALP Calwell (Vic) 10.11.2001-

64. Bird, Sharon ALP Cunningham (NSW) 9.10.2004-

65. Elliot, Justine ALP Richmond (NSW) 9.10.2004-

66. Ellis, Kate ALP Adelaide (SA) 9.10.2004-

67. Markus, Louise LIB Greenway (NSW)

Macquarie (NSW) 9.10.2004-21.8.2010 21.8.2010-

68. Owens, Julie ALP Parramatta (NSW) 9.10.2004-

69. Campbell, Jodie ALP Bass (Tas) 24.11.2007-19.7.2010 retired

70. Collins, Julie ALP Franklin (Tas) 24.11.2007-

71. D'Ath, Yvette ALP Petrie (Qld) 24.11.2007-

72. Marino, Nola LIB Forrest (WA) 24.11.2007-

73. McKew, Maxine ALP Bennelong (NSW) 24.11.2007-21.8.2010 defeated

74. Neal, Belinda* ALP Robertson (NSW) 24.11.2007-19.7.2010 retired

75. Parke, Melissa ALP Fremantle (WA) 24.11.2007-

76. Rea, Kerry ALP Bonner (Qld) 24.11.2007-21.8.2010 defeated

77. Rishworth, Amanda ALP Kingston (SA) 24.11.2007-

78. Saffin, Janelle ALP Page (NSW) 24.11.2007-

79. O'Dwyer, Kelly LIB Higgins (Vic) 5.12.2009-

80. Andrews, Karen LIB McPherson (Qld) 21.8.2010-

81. Brodtmann, Gai ALP Canberra (ACT) 21.8.2010-

82. Griggs, Natasha CLP Solomon (NT) 21.8.2010-

83. O'Neill, Deborah ALP Robertson (NSW) 21.8.2010-

84. Prentice, Jane LIB Ryan (Qld) 21.8.2010-

85. Rowland, Michelle ALP Greenway (NSW) 21.8.2010-

86. Smyth, Laura ALP La Trobe (Vic) 21.8.2010-

* Former Senators.

+ Election declared void.

Source: Parliamentary Handbook

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

42

Appendix 3: Women in ministries, 1901-2011, as at 1 January 2012

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

Lyons, Enid† HR UAP/LIB Tas Vice-President of the

Executive Council

19.12.1949- 7.3.1951

Rankin, Annabelle DBE Senate LIB Qld Minister for Housing 26.1.1966-

22.3.1971

Guilfoyle, Margaret DBE Senate LIB Vic Minister for Education 11.11.1975-

22.12.1975

Guilfoyle, Margaret DBE Senate LIB Vic Minister for Social Security

(in Cabinet from 8.7.76)

22.12.1975- 3.11.1980

Guilfoyle, Margaret DBE Senate LIB Vic Minister for Finance 3.11.1980-

11.3.1983

Ryan, Susan Senate ALP ACT Minister for Education and

Youth Affairs

11.3.1983- 13.12.1984

Ryan, Susan Senate ALP ACT Minister for Education 13.12.1984-

24.7.1987

Ryan, Susan Senate ALP ACT Special Minister of State

Minister Assisting the PM for the Status of Women Minister Assisting the PM for the Bicentennial Minister Assisting the PM for Community Services and Health

24.7.1987- 19.1.1988

Reynolds, Margaret

Senate ALP Qld PS for Local Government* 24.7.1987-

18.9.1987

Reynolds, Margaret

Senate ALP Qld Minister for Local Government 18.9.1987-

4.4.1990

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT PS for Defence Science and

Personnel*

24.7.1987- 18.9.1987

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT Minister for Defence Science

and Personnel

18.9.1987- 6.4.1989

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT Minister for

Telecommunications and Aviation Support

6.4.1989-

4.4.1990

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT Minister for the Arts, Sport,

the Environment, Tourism and Territories

4.4.1990- 24.3.1993

Fatin, Wendy HR ALP WA Minister for Local Government 4.4.1990-

27.12.1991

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

43

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

Fatin, Wendy HR ALP WA Minister Assisting the PM for

the Status of Women

4.4.1990- 24.3.1993

McHugh, Jeanette

HR ALP NSW Minister for Consumer Affairs 27.5.1992-

11.3.1996

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT Minister for the Environment,

Sport and Territories

24.3.1993- 1.3.1994

Crowley, Rosemary

Senate ALP SA Minister Assisting the PM for

the Status of Women

24.3.1993- 23.12.1994

Crosio, Janice HR ALP NSW PS to the Minister for the Arts

and Administrative Services 24.3.1993- 23.12.1993

Kelly, Ros HR ALP ACT Minister Assisting the PM for

the Status of Women

23.12.1993- 1.3.1994

Crosio, Janice HR ALP NSW PS to the Minister for the

Environment, Sport and Territories

23.12.1993- 25.3.1994

Lawrence, Carmen

HR ALP WA Minister for Human Services

and Health

Minister Assisting the PM for the Status of Women

25.3.1994- 11.3.1996

Crawford, Mary HR ALP Qld PS to the Minister for Housing

and Regional Development 25.3.1994- 11.3.1996

Crosio, Janice HR ALP NSW PS to the Minister for Social

Security

25.3.1994- 11.3.1996

Newman, Jocelyn

Senate LIB Tas Minister for Social Security 11.3.1996-

21.10.1998

Newman, Jocelyn

Senate LIB Tas Minister Assisting the PM for

the Status of Women

11.3.1996- 9.10.1997

Vanstone, Amanda

Senate LIB SA Minister for Employment,

Education, Training and Youth Affairs

11.3.1996- 9.10.1997

Moylan, Judi HR LIB WA Minister for Family Services 11.3.1996-

9.10.1997

Bishop, Bronwyn HR LIB NSW Minister for Defence Industry,

Science and Personnel 11.3.1996- 21.10.1998

Worth, Trish HR LIB SA PS to the Minister for Health

and Family Services

18.7.1997- 21.10.1998

Vanstone, Amanda

Senate LIB SA Minister for Justice 9.10.1997-

21.10.1998

Moylan, Judi HR LIB WA Minister for the Status of

Women

9.10.1997- 21.10.1998

Sullivan, Kathy HR LIB Qld PS (Foreign Affairs) 9.10.1997-

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

44

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

16.2.2000

Troeth, Judith Senate LIB Vic PS to the Minister for Primary

Industries and Energy

9.10.1997- 21.10.1998

Kelly, Jackie HR LIB NSW Minister for Sport and Tourism 21.10.1998-

26.11.2001

Kelly, Jackie HR LIB NSW Minister Assisting the PM for

the Sydney 2000 Games 21.10.1998- 30.1.2001

Newman, Jocelyn

Senate LIB Tas Minister for Family and

Community Services

21.10.1998- 30.1.2001

Bishop, Bronwyn HR LIB NSW Minister for Aged Care 21.10.1998-

26.11.2001

Vanstone, Amanda

Senate LIB SA Minister for Justice and

Customs

21.10.1998- 30.1.2001

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic PS to the Minister of

Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

21.10.1998- 26.11.2001

Stone, Sharman HR LIB Vic PS to the Minister for the

Environment and Heritage 21.10.1998- 26.10.2004

Troeth, Judith Senate LIB Vic PS to the Minister for

Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

21.10.1998- 26.10.2004

Worth, Trish HR LIB SA PS to the Minister for

Education, Training and Youth Affairs

21.10.1998- 26.11.2001

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic PS to the Minister for Foreign

Affairs

16.2.2000- 26.11.2001

Vanstone, Amanda

Senate LIB SA Minister for Family and

Community Services Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women

30.1.2001- 7.10.2003

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic Minister for Health and Ageing 26.11.2001-

7.10.2003

Coonan, Helen Senate LIB NSW Minister for Revenue and

Assistant Treasurer

26.11.2001- 18.7.2004

Vale, Danna HR LIB NSW Minister for Veterans' Affairs 26.11.2001-

26.10.2004

Vale, Danna HR LIB NSW Minister Assisting the Minister

for Defence

26.11.2001- 7.10.2003

Bailey, Fran HR LIB Vic PS (Defence) 26.11.2001-

18.7.2004

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

45

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

Gallus, Chris HR LIB SA PS (Foreign Affairs) 26.11.2001-

18.7.2004

Kelly, Jackie HR LIB NSW PS to the Prime Minister 26.11.2001-

26.10.2004

Worth, Trish HR LIB SA PS to the Minister for Health

and Ageing

26.11.2001- 26.10.2004

Bishop, Julie HR LIB WA Minister for Ageing 7.10.2003-

27.1.2006

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic Minister for Family and

Community Services

7.10.2003- 27.1.2006

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic Minister Assisting the Prime

Minister for the Status of Women

7.10.2003- 26.10.2004

Vanstone, Amanda

Senate LIB SA Minister for Immigration and

Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

7.10.2003- 27.1.2006

Kelly, De-Anne HR NAT Qld PS to the Minister for Transport

and Regional Services

PS (Trade)

7.10.2003- 26.10.2004

Coonan, Helen Senate LIB NSW Minister for Communications,

Information Technology and the Arts

18.7.2004- 3.12.2007

Bailey, Fran HR LIB Vic Minister for Employment

Services Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence

18.7.2004- 26.10.2004

Gambaro, Teresa HR LIB Qld PS to the Minister for Defence 18.7.2004-

27.1.2006

Patterson, Kay Senate LIB Vic Minister Assisting the Prime

Minister for Women’s Issues 26.10.2004- 27.1.2006

Kelly, De-Anne HR NAT Qld Minister for Veterans’ Affairs 26.10.2004-

27.1.2006

Bailey, Fran HR LIB Vic Minister for Small Business and

Tourism

26.10.2004- 3.12.2007

Stone, Sharman HR LIB Vic PS to the Minister for Finance

and Administration

26.10.2004- 27.1.2006

Kelly, De-Anne HR NAT Qld Minister Assisting the Minister

for Defence

16.11.2004- 27.1.2006

Bishop, Julie HR LIB WA Minister for Education,

Science and Training

27.1.2006- 3.12.2007

Vanstone, S LIB SA Minister for Immigration and 27.1.2006-

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

46

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

Amanda Multicultural Affairs 30.1.2007

Stone, Sharman HR LIB Vic Minister for Workforce

Participation

27.1.2006- 3.12.2007

Gambaro, Teresa HR LIB Qld PS to the Minister for Foreign

Affairs

27.1.2006- 30.1.2007

Kelly, De-Anne HR Nat Qld PS to the Minister for Trade 27.1.2006-

29.9.2006

Kelly, De-Anne HR Nat Qld PS to the Minister for Transport

and Regional Services

29.9.2006- 3.12.2007

Gambaro, Teresa HR LIB Qld PS to the Minister for

Immigration and Citizenship 30.1.2007- 3.12.2007

Gillard, Julia HR ALP Vic Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Education Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Minister for Social Inclusion

3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

Macklin, Jenny HR ALP Vic Minister for Families, Housing,

Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

3.12.2007- 14.12.2011

Roxon, Nicola HR ALP Vic Minister for Health and Ageing 3.12.2007-

14.12.2011

Wong, Penny Senate ALP SA Minister for Climate Change

and Water Minister for Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water

3.12.2007-

8.3.2010

8.3.2010-

14.9.2010

Elliot, Justine HR ALP NSW Minister for Ageing 3.12.2007-

24.6.2010

Ellis, Kate HR ALP SA Minister for Youth

Minister for Sport

3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

Plibersek, Tanya HR ALP NSW Minister for Housing

Minister for the Status of Women

3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

McKew, Maxine HR ALP NSW PS for Early Childhood

Education and Child Care 3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

McLucas, Jan Senate ALP Qld PS to the Minister for Health

and Ageing

3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

Stephens, Ursula Senate ALP NSW PS for Social Inclusion and the

Voluntary Sector

PS Assisting the Prime Minister for Social Inclusion

3.12.2007- 24.6.2010

Gillard, Julia HR ALP Vic Prime Minister 24.6.2010-

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

47

Name Chamber Party State/

territory

Portfolio Dates

Wong, Penny Senate ALP SA Minister for Finance and

Deregulation

14.9.2010-

Macklin, Jenny HR ALP Vic Minister for Families,

Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

Minister for Disability Reform

14.12.2011-

Roxon, Nicola HR ALP Vic Attorney-General 14.12.2011-

Plibersek, Tanya HR ALP NSW Minister for Health 14.12.2011-

Ellis, Kate HR ALP SA Minister for Employment

Participation Minister for Early Childhood and Childcare

14.12.2011-

Collins, Julie HR ALP Tas Minister for Community

Services Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

Minister for the Status of Women

14.12.2011-

Elliot, Justine HR ALP NSW PS for Trade 14.12.2011-

McLucas, Jan Senate ALP Qld PS for Disabilities and Carers 14.12.2011-

Collins, Jacinta Senate ALP Vic PS for School Education and

Workplace Relations

14.12.2011-

King, Catherine HR ALP Vic PS for Health and Ageing

PS for Infrastructure and Transport

14.12.2011-

Lundy, Kate Senate ALP ACT PS to the Prime Minister

PS for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

14.12.2011-

* Temporary title prior to the amendment of the Ministers of State Act 1952 † Until 11.1.1956 Cabinet comprised all members of the ministry

Explanatory notes:

a) Includes Cabinet and non-Cabinet Ministers, and Parliamentary Secretaries

b) Bold—in Cabinet; Italics—PS (Parliamentary Secretary) c) In a reshuffle announced on 2 March 2012, Senator Kate Lundy was promoted into the ministry as Minister for Sport, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation. Sharon Bird MP was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.

Minister Roxon added Emergency Management to her duties; Senator Jan McLucas is now also Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister; and Senator Jacinta Collins has become the first

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

48

female Manager of Government Business in the Senate while retaining her previous parliamentary secretary role. 90

Source: Compiled by J Wilson, Parliamentary Library from Parliamentary Handbook

Appendix 4: Selected milestones for women in Australian parliaments

Date Milestone

1894 Women in the colony of South Australia win both the right to vote and stand for the colonial parliament

1899 Women in the colony of Western Australia win the right to vote; they win the right to stand for state parliament in 1920 and the first woman is elected in 1921 (Edith Cowan)

1902 The Commonwealth Franchise Act is passed, enabling all women (with the exception of Aboriginal women in some states) to vote for the Commonwealth Parliament. From this time, women are also able to sit in the Commonwealth Parliament; the first women are elected in 1943 (Dorothy Tangney and Enid Lyons)

Women in New South Wales win the right to vote; they win the right to stand for the state Legislative Assembly in 1918

1903 Four women are candidates for the Commonwealth election—Nellie Martel, Mary Ann Moore Bentley and Vida Goldstein for the Senate, and Selina Anderson for the House of Representatives

Women in Tasmania win the right to vote

1905 Women in Queensland win the right to vote

1908 Women in Victoria win the right to vote

1918 Queensland women win the right to stand for state parliament

1921 Edith Cowan (Nationalist) becomes Australia’s first female parliamentarian when she is elected to the WA Legislative Assembly

1922 Women in Tasmania win the right to stand for state parliament

1923 Victorian women win the right to stand for state parliament

1925 Millicent Preston-Stanley (Nationalist) is the first woman is elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly

1926 Women in NSW win the right to stand for the Legislative Council

1929 Irene Longman (Progressive Nationalist) is the first women to be elected to the Queensland Legislative Assembly

1931 Ellen Webster (ALP) and Catherine Green (ALP) were appointed to the NSW Legislative Council

1933 Lady Millie Peacock (UAP) is the first woman to be elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly

1943 Enid Lyons (later Dame), (UAP, later LIB) and Senator Dorothy Tangney (later Dame) (ALP are the first female parliamentarians to be elected to the Commonwealth Parliament

1944 Lillian Fowler is elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly seat of Newtown after serving as the first female Mayor in Australia (1938-9)

90. Prime Minister’s press release, ‘Changes to the ministry’, Canberra, 2 March 2012, viewed 2 March 2012, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22media%2Fpressrel%2F1291005% 22

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

49

Date Milestone

1947 Senator Annabelle Rankin (later Dame) (LIB), becomes Opposition Whip in the Senate becoming the first woman in the Commonwealth Parliament to hold that office

Florence Cardell-Oliver (elected in 1936) becomes the first woman Cabinet minister in an Australian parliament (Western Australia)

1948 Margaret McIntyre (IND) is the first woman elected to the Tasmanian Legislative Council

1949 Enid Lyons (LIB) becomes Vice-President of the Executive Council in the Liberal-Country Party coalition ministry of Prime Minister Robert Menzies

1951 Senator Annabelle Rankin (Lib) becomes Government Whip

1954 Ruby Hutchinson (ALP) is the first woman to be elected to the WA Legislative Council

1955 Millie Best (LIB) and Mabel Miller (late Dame) (LIB), are the first women to be elected to the Tasmanian House of Assembly

1959 Joyce Steele (LCL) and Jessie Cooper (LCL) are the first women elected to the South Australian Parliament

1966 Senator Annabelle Rankin (LIB) is appointed as Minister for Housing, becoming the first woman minister in the Commonwealth Parliament with portfolio responsibility

1970 Dame Senator Ivy Wedgwood (LIB) chairs one of the first of the Senate’s new legislative and general purpose standing committees, the Health and Welfare Committee

1976 Senator Margaret Guilfoyle (later Dame) (LIB), who was appointed Minister for Education and Minister for Social Security in 1975, becomes the first woman to be appointed to Commonwealth Cabinet and administer a government department; she is appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1979

Joy Mein (LIB) becomes the first woman state president of a major political party when she becomes the state president of the Liberal Party of Australia

1978 The NSW Legislative Council is popularly elected for the first time, and four women win places: Virginia Chadwick (LIB), Marie Fisher (ALP), Deirdre Grusovin (ALP), and Dorothy Isaksen (ALP)

1979 Gracia Baylor (LIB) and Joan Coxsedge (ALP) are the first women to be elected to the Victorian Legislative Council

1980 Senator Margaret Guilfoyle (later Dame) (LIB) becomes the first woman to hold an economic portfolio as Minister for Finance

1983 Senator Susan Ryan (ALP) is the first female Labor minister in the Commonwealth Parliament. As the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women, Senator Ryan introduces the Sex Discrimination Act 1984

1986 Mrs Joan Child (ALP) becomes the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives

Senator Janine Haines (DEM) becomes the first woman to lead an Australian political party, the Australian Democrats

1989 Rosemary Follett (ALP) becomes Australia’s first female head of government (Australian Capital Territory)

1990 Carmen Lawrence (ALP) becomes the first female Premier of an Australian state (Western Australia) in February. Later in the same year, Joan Kirner becomes Premier of Victoria

Senator Janet Powell (IND) becomes the first woman member of either house to have a private bill passed by both houses, the Smoking and Tobacco Products Advertisements (Prohibition) Act 1989

Carolyn Jakobsen (ALP) is elected chair of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party, the first woman to

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

50

Date Milestone

hold this position

1995 Senator Margaret Reid (LIB) is elected Deputy-President of the Senate

Kate Carnell (LIB) becomes the second female Chief Minister of the ACT

1996 Senator Margaret Reid (LIB) becomes the first woman elected as President of the Senate (1996-2002)

De-Anne Kelly (NAT) becomes the first National Party woman to be elected to the House of Representatives

1999 Chris Gallus (LIB) becomes the second woman member of either house to have a private bill pass into law, the Adelaide Airport Curfew Act 2000

2001 Jenny Macklin (ALP) becomes Deputy Leader of the Commonwealth Opposition; in 2002 she is elected as Deputy Leader of the ALP, the first woman to hold the position in the major parties at federal level

Clare Martin (ALP) is the first female Chief Minister of the Northern Territory

2003 Linda Burney (ALP) is the first Indigenous Australian to be elected to the Parliament of NSW; she holds several ministerial positions in the NSW Cabinet between 2007 and 2011, and became Deputy Leader of the Opposition in NSW in 2011

2005 Senator Judith Troeth (LIB) is a co-sponsor with Senator Fiona Nash (NAT), Senator Claire Moore (ALP), and Senator Lynette Allison (DEM) of the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (Repeal of Ministerial Responsibility for Approval of RU486) Bill 2005 (known as the ‘abortion pill); this Bill removes responsibility for approval of RU486 from the Minister for Health and Ageing and places it with the Therapeutic Goods Administration

2006 Senator Kay Patterson (LIB) introduces the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction and the Regulation of Human Embryo Research Amendment Bill 2006. It is passed, becoming one of only 10 private senators’ bills to become law since 1901

2007 Julia Gillard (ALP) becomes Deputy Prime Minister

Anna Bligh (ALP) becomes the first female Premier of Queensland

Julie Bishop (LIB) is the first female Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia

2008 Quentin Bryce becomes the first woman appointed Governor-General

2010 Julia Gillard (ALP) becomes Australia’s first female Prime Minister

2011 Nicola Roxon (ALP) becomes Australia’s first female Attorney General

Lara Giddings (ALP) becomes the first female Premier of Tasmania

Katy Gallagher (ALP) becomes the third female Chief Minister of the ACT

Sources: Compiled by the Parliamentary Library from published sources

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

51

Appendix 5: Women in Commonwealth Parliament who have served for 10 years or more as at 1 January 201291

Name Party House Start End Days Period of service

Martin/Sullivan, Kathryn*

LIB Senate

HR

18.05.1974

12.01.1984

11.05.1984

10.08.2001

3824

6155

=

9979

10 yrs 5 mths 18 days

16 yrs 10 mths 7 days

= TOTAL

27 yrs 3 mths 25 days

Tangney, Dorothy ALP Senate 21.08.1943 30.06.1968 9080 24 yrs 10 mths 9 days

Bishop, Bronwyn* LIB Senate

HR

11.07.1987

26.03.1994

24.02.1994

Current

2420

6489

=

8909

6 yrs 7 mths 13 days

17 yrs 9 mths 5 days

= TOTAL

24 yrs 4 mths 18 days

Rankin, Annabelle DBE LIB Senate 01.07.1947 24.05.1971 8728 23 yrs 10 mths 23 days

Vanstone, Amanda LIB Senate 12.01.1984 26.04.2007 8176 22 yrs 4 mths 25 days

Reid, Margaret LIB Senate 05.05.1981 14.02.2003 7955 21 yrs 9 mths 9 days

Wedgwood, Ivy DBE LIB Senate 10.12.1949 30.06.1971 7872 21 yrs 6 mths 20 days

Patterson, Kay LIB Senate 11.07.1987 30.06.2008 7660 20 yrs 11 mths 19 days

Knowles, Susan LIB Senate 01.12.1984 30.06.2005 7516 20 yrs 6 mths 29 days

Crowley, Rosemary ALP Senate 19.02.1983 30.06.2002 7071 19 yrs 4 mths 11 days

Moylan, Judi LIB HR 13.03.1993 Current 6867 18 yrs 9 mths 18 days

Troeth, Judith LIB Senate 01.07.1993 30.06.2011 6573 17 yrs 11 mths 29 days

Walters, Shirley LIB Senate 13.12.1975 30.06.1993 6409 17 yrs 6 mths 17 days

Reynolds, Margaret ALP Senate 19.02.1983 30.06.1999 5975 16 yrs 4 mths 11 days

Guilfoyle, Margaret DBE LIB Senate 01.07.1971 05.06.1987 5818 15 yrs 11 mths 4 days

Kelly, De-Anne NAT HR 02.03.1996 24.11.2007 5811 15 yrs 10 mths 29 days

Newman, Jocelyn LIB Senate 13.03.1986 01.02.2002 5804 15 yrs 10mths 19 days

Gash, Joanna LIB HR 02.03.1996 Current 5782 15 yrs 9 mths 29 days

Lundy, Kate ALP Senate 02.03.1996 Current 5782 15 yrs 9 mths 29 days

Macklin, Jennifer ALP HR 02.03.1996 Current 5782 15 yrs 9 mths 29 days

Stone, Sharman LIB HR 02.03.1996 current 5782 15 yrs 9 mths 29 days

Lees, Meg DEM/APA Senate 04.04.1990 30.06.2005 5566 15 yrs 2 mths 26 days

Coonan, Helen LIB Senate 01.07.1996 22.08.2011 5530 15 yrs 1 mth 21 days

Payne, Marise LIB Senate 06.04.1997 Current 5382 14 yrs 8 mths 25 days

91. A full list of female Commonwealth parliamentarians and their period of service is available from Parliamentary Handbook.

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

52

Name Party House Start End Days Period of service

Haines, Janine DEM Senate 14.12.1977

01.07.1981

30.06.1978

01.03.1990

198

3165 =

3363

6 mths 16 days

8 yrs 8 mths

= TOTAL

14 yrs 8 mths 16 days

Crosio, Janice ALP HR 24.03.1990 31.08.2004 5274 14 yrs 5 mths 7 days

Gallus, Christine LIB HR 24.03.1990 31.08.2004 5274 14 yrs 5 mths 7 days

Bailey, Frances LIB HR 02.03.1996 19.07.2010 5252 14 yrs 4 mths 17 days

Ellis, Annette ALP HR 02.03.1996 19.07.2010 5252 14 yrs 4 mths 17 days

Vale, Danna LIB HR 02.03.1996 19.07.2010 5252 14 yrs 4 mths 17 days

Kelly, Roslyn ALP HR 18.10.1980 30.01.1995 5217 14 yrs 3 mths 12 days

Collins, Jacinta ALP Senate 03.05.1995

08.04.2008

30.06.2005

Current

3711

1362 =

5073

10 yrs 1 mth 27 days

3 yrs 8 mths 23 days

= TOTAL

13 yrs 10 mths 20 days

Lawrence, Carmen ALP HR 12.03.1994 17.10.2007 4967 13 yrs 7 mths 5 days

Crossin, Trish ALP Senate 16.06.1998 Current 4946 13 yrs 6 mths 15 days

Bishop, Julie LIB HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Burke, Anna ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Gillard, Julia ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Hall, Jill ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Livermore, Kirsten ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Plibersek, Tanya ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Roxon, Nicola ALP HR 03.10.1998 Current 4837 13 yrs 2 mths 28 days

Coleman, Ruth ALP Senate 18.05.1974 05.06.1987 4766 13 yrs 18 days

Gambaro, Teresa LIB HR 02.03.1996

21.10.2010

24.11.2007

Current

4284

436

=

4720

11 yrs 8 mths 22 days

1 yr 2 mths 10 days

= TOTAL

12 yrs 11 mths 2 days

McHugh, Jeannette ALP HR 05.03.1983 29.01.1996 4713 12 yrs 10 mths 24 days

Fatin, Wendy ALP HR 05.03.1983 29.01.1996 4713 12 yrs 10 mths 24 days

Stott Despoja, Natasha DEM Senate 29.11.1995 30.06.2008 4597 12 yrs 7 mths 1 day

Robertson, Agnes LCL Senate 10.12.1949 30.06.1962 4585 12 yrs 6 mths 20 days

McLucas, Jan ALP Senate 01.07.1999 Current 4566 12 yrs 6 mths

West, Suzanne ALP Senate 11.02.1987

01.07.1990

05.06.1987

30.06.2002

114 4382 =

4496

3 mths 25 days

11 yrs 11 mths 29 days

12 yrs 3 mths 24 days

Darling, Elaine ALP HR 18.10.1980 08.02.1993 4496 12 yrs 3 mths 21 days

Bjelke-Petersen, Florence

NCP Senate 12.03.1981 30.06.1993 4493 12 yrs 3 mths 18 days

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

53

Name Party House Start End Days Period of service

Ryan, Susan ALP Senate 13.12.1975 29.01.1988 4430 12 yrs 1 mth 16 days

Zakharov, Olive ALP Senate 19.02.1983 06.03.1995 4398 12 yrs 15 days

Allison, Lynette DEM Senate 01.07.1996 30.06.2008 4382 12 yrs

Giles, Patricia ALP Senate 01.07.1981 30.06.1993 4382 11 yrs 11 mths 29 days

Bourne, Vicki DEM Senate 01.07.1990 30.06.2002 4382 11 yrs 11 mths 29 days

Denman, Kay ALP Senate 24.08.1993 30.06.2005 4328 11 yrs 10 mths 6 days

Irwin, Julia ALP HR 03.10.1998 19.07.2010 4307 11yrs 9 mths 16 days

Hull, Kay NAT HR 03.10.1998 19.07.2010 4307 11 yrs 9 mths 16 days

Draper, Trish LIB HR 02.03.1996 17.10.2007 4246 11 yrs 7 mths 15 days

Elson, Kay LIB HR 02.03.1996 17 10 2007 4246 11 yrs 7 mths 15 days

Worth, Trish LIB HR 13.03.1993 09.10.2004 4228 11 yrs 6 mths 26 days

Kelly, Jackie LIB HR 02.03.1996

19.10.1996

11.09.1996

17.10.2007

193

4015

4208

6 mths 9 days

10 yrs 11 mths 28 days

11 yrs 6 mths 7 days

Ferris, Jeannie LIB Senate 01.07.1996

24.07.1996

12.07.1996

02.04.2007

11

3904 =

3915

11 days

10 yrs 8 mths 9 days

= TOTAL

10 yrs 8 mths 20 days

Kernot, Cheryl* DEM

ALP

Senate

HR

01.07.1990

03.10.1998

15.10.1997

10.11.2001

2663

1134 =

3797

7 yrs 3 mths 14 days

3 yrs 1 mth 7 days

= TOTAL

10 yrs 4 mths 21 days

Grierson, Sharon ALP HR 10.11.2001 current 3703 10 yrs 1 mth 21 days

King, Catherine ALP HR 10.11.2001 Current 3703 10 yrs 1 mth 21 days

Ley, Sussan LIB HR 10.11.2001 Current 3703 10 yrs 1 mth 21 days

Mirabella, Sophie LIB HR 10.11.2001 Current 3703 10 yrs 1 mth 21 days

Vamvakinou, Maria ALP HR 10.11.2001 Current 3703 10 yrs 1 mth 21 days

*Served in both Houses

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

54

Appendix 6: Arguments for and against quotas for women’s political representation

For Quotas are empirically the most effective way to achieve a better gender balance

Legislated quotas can circumvent male-dominated party leadership by forcing the party to look for suitable female candidates for party or public office

Quotas give voters a chance to elect both women and men

Women have the right as citizens to equal representation

Women’s life experiences are needed in politics and parliaments

Women are just as well qualified as men, but women’s qualifications are downgraded and minimised in a male-dominated political system

Election is about representation, not educational qualifications

Quotas imply that there are several women together in a body, thus minimising the stress experienced by the token woman

Quotas can contribute to a process of democratisation by making the nomination process more transparent and formalised

If women perform better than anticipated by voters, then voters will be more willing to elect women candidates in future elections, even in the absence of quotas

‘Critical mass’ or increased representation will accelerate the likelihood that other women will stand and gain election by providing role models for other women

Quotas will shorten the time it takes for women achieve equal representation

Quotas are not discriminatory but rather compensate for an already existing discrimination

Against Quotas are against the principle of equal opportunity because they give preference over men

Quotas may result in a less competent legislature (because there are fewer potential female candidates, less competent women may be selected)

Quotas are undemocratic because voters should be able to decide who is elected

Quotas imply that politicians are elected because of their gender, not because of their qualifications; women thus selected may not be seen as being equally competent; they portray women as a species that must be protected, promoting the ‘victim’ stereotype

Quotas give the erroneous idea that only women can represent women, while men can represent both men and women; this would work against women in gaining representation based on the political ideas they represent rather than on their gender

Quotas can act as an upper ceiling to women’s participation rather than a lower floor

Quotas mean that more qualified candidates are not selected if they are not women

Many women are uneasy with being selected just because they are women

Quotas may introduce significant conflicts within a party organisation

Quotas violate the principles of liberal democracy

Source: Compiled by the Parliamentary Library from external sources 92

92 ACE Project, viewed 10 January 2012, http://aceproject.org/search?SearchableText=quotas; QuotaProject, viewed 10 January 2012, http://www.quotaproject.org/aboutQuotas.cfm

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

55

Appendix 7: Selected references

Crawford, Mary and Pini, Barbara, ‘Gender Equality in National Politics: The Views of Australian Male Politicians’, Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 45, no. 4, December 2010, pp. 608-10.

Curtin, Jennifer and Sexton, Kelly, ‘Selecting and electing women to the House of Representatives: Progress at last?’, Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, University of Adelaide, 29 September-1 October 2004, http://www.adelaide.edu.au/apsa/docs_papers/Aust%20Pol/Curtin.pdf

Curtin, Jennifer, Women in Australian federal Cabinet, Research Note no. 40, 1996-7, Parliamentary Library, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/library/prspub/EMB30/upload_binary/EMB30.pdf; fileType=application/pdf#search=%22women%20in%20australian%20federal%20cabinet%22

Drabsch, Talina, Women in politics and public leadership, Briefing paper no. 6/2011, NSW Parliamentary Library, http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/WomenInPoliticsAndPu blicLeadership

Fitzherbert, Margaret, Liberal women: Federation-1949, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW, 2004

______, So many firsts: Liberal women from Enid Lyons to the Turnbull era, Federation Press, Annandale, NSW 2009

McAllister, Ian and Studlar, Donley T, ‘Electoral systems and women’s representation: A long-term perspective’, Representation, vol. 39, no. 1, 2002, p. 3-14, http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00344890208523209

Palmieri, Sonia A, Gender-sensitive parliaments: a global review of good practice, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Reports and Documents no. 65, 2011, http://www.ipu.org/pdf/publications/gsp11-e.pdf

______, Gender mainstreaming in the Australian Parliament: achievement with room for improvement, Research paper, Parliamentary Studies Centre, Australian National University, n.d., viewed 20 January 2012, http://www.parliamentarystudies.anu.edu.au/pdf/publications/2011/Gender_Mainstreaming_in _the_Australian_Parliament.pdf

Parliamentary Library, Parliamentary Handbook of the Commonwealth of Australia 2011, 43rd Parliament, Parliamentary Library, Department of Parliamentary Services, Commonwealth of Australia 2011, pp. 480-3, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/handbook/newhandbook/2011-10-13/toc_pdf_repeat/Part%206%20-%20Historical%20information%20on%20the%20Australian%20Parliament.pdf;fileType=applicatio n%2Fpdf (This links take you to Part 6 of the Handbook - either make this part of the citation, or the link should go to the home page of the Handbook)

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

56

Reynolds, Margaret, The last bastion: Labor women working towards equality in the parliaments of Australia, Business and Professional Publishing, Sydney, 1995

______, Women, Preselection and merit: who decides?, Papers on Parliament no. 27, March 1996, http://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/senate/pubs/pops/pop27/c03.pdf

Sawer, Marian and Simms, Marian, A woman’s place: women and politics in Australia, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW, 1993

Sawer, Marian, Tremblay, Manon and Trimble, Linda, eds, Representing women in parliament: a comparative study, Routledge, Abingdon, 2006

Smith, Tony, Candidate gender in the 2010 Australian federal election, Democratic Audit discussion paper 1/10, August 2010, http://democraticaudit.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/smithAugust2010.pdf

Tremblay, Manon, ‘Democracy, representation, and women: a comparative analysis’, Democratization, vol. 14, no. 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13510340701398261

Wilson, Janet, First women in Australian parliaments—historical note, Research Note no. 55, June 1997, http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22library%2Fprsp ub%2FMVF30%22

______, Composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender, as at 17 February 2012, Politics and Public Administration Group, Parliamentary Library, Parliament of Australia, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/ Browse_by_Topic/~/media/05%20About%20Parliament/54%20Parliamentary%20Depts/544%20 Parliamentary%20Library/Browse%20by%20topic/currentwomen.ashx

______ and D Black, Women parliamentarians in Australia 1921-2009, Background Note, 17 March 2009, updated 4 May 2009, 2008-9 (2012 update forthcoming), http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id%3A%22library%2Fprsp ub%2F7N3T6%22

Women in the Senate, Senate Brief no. 3, August 2011, http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Senate/Powers_practice_n_procedures/briefs/brief0 3

Representation of women in Australian parliaments

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