Paula Mathewson writing in the Women's Weekly in Australia draws attention to party performance on gender representation. The Labor Party and the Greens had about 45% female members in the last parliament. The Liberal Party had just 27%. The Liberals are set to do worse in the coming election.
Using the percentage of members of the whole parliament hides the fewer number of members in the house compared to the Senate.
Mathewson concludes that it is up to women voters to vote more women into parliament. We add that our proposal for democracy5050 provides a fair guarantee of equal representation now.
Political parties say they’re doing everything they can to get to 50-50, but so far only Labor and the Greens have managed to get close. Labor has 45 per cent women MPs in the national parliament, while the Greens have 45.5 per cent. The Coalition parties have 27 per cent, and may have even less following the upcoming election.
This is not just a matter of balancing things up for appearances sake.
Without enough female voices in the nation’s decision-making forums, there is an increased chance that governments will make poor or bad decisions that have a negative impact on women.
That’s because it’s easier for a bunch of men on comfy incomes to cut funding for frontline domestic violence support, women’s health services or child care without thinking through the implications for women, families, the economy or the broader community.