Our Prime Minister has now declared his support for a target to increase the number of Liberal women in parliament.
The PM's support for a target to make the party less 'blokey' is important progress, and it could open the door to meaningful change. Or it could end in more business as usual - with talented women left “knocking on the door of the cabinet”.
The Prime Minister has indicated he’ll be looking to an internal Party report for guidance on the specific targets and measures the Party should adopt to become less 'blokey'. It’s critical that the Party commits to strong targets. And there’s an opportunity for us to influence that.
The report on this topic is being prepared by a team that includes members of parliament Minister Michaelia Cash and Senator Linda Reynolds. Can you help show them that voters want to see women equally represented in the Liberal ranks, and support strong measures to ensure that happens sooner rather than later? Click here to send them a quick personal email.
Several senior Liberal women have already spoken about the importance of targeting equality, including the NSW Liberals Deputy Leader Gladys Berejiklian, It’s critical we show they have community support on this.
Other Liberal women have shared specific measures they believe could address barriers to women’s representation. Dr Sharman Stone MP has suggested the Party require equal number of female and male candidates at every pre-selection contest, and Gladys Berejiklian has suggested that all parties set targets for the number of women pre-selected in winnable upper and lower house seats at every election until they achieve equal representation. They’re both good suggestions, and ones we should throw our support behind.
There’s no doubt that the discussion about exact targets will be hotly contested within the Party. That's why it's critical those advocating for strong measures and targets can show they have public support.
1.&2. Tony Abbott supports targets for female representation in Liberal Party as report highlights lack of women, ABC News, 15 August 2015.
3&5. NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian calls for target of 50% women MPs, SMH, 18 August 2015.
4. Sharman Stone says quotas for women are needed, AFR, 28 July 2015.