30 April 2014

Australian women losing ground in senior political representation

| Canfan
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Chief Minister Katy Gallagher fueled the gender equality fire, noting the lack of senior women in politics nationally during her address to the annual YCWA breakfast yesterday.

According to the Canberra Times, Ms Gallagher said Australia has gone backwards on female participation in senior politics, enhancing the perception that politics is for men.

“Just three short years ago when I became Chief Minister, I joined two other state leaders who were women. [Queensland’s] Anna Bligh and [Tasmania’s] Lara Giddings,” Ms Gallagher said during the breakfast.

“Kristina Keneally had recently lost the 2011 state election in NSW. The Prime Minister of Australia was also a woman – and for a brief period of time just some eight months or so – four out of nine of Australia’s first ministers were women.”

Following the change of leadership in Tasmania’s recent state election, Ms Gallagher is now the only female head of government in Australia.

We have also sadly seen the loss of Quentin Bryce, although not in a government level – a strong female leader no longer in the public eye.

Given female representation in Mr Abbott’s government, I don’t hold out a great deal of hope. How does gender equality in leadership look from where you sit?

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