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Coalition’s lost ground on women MPs shows we need to tackle new gender biases

Renata Bongiorno writes in The Conversation (12.7.16) about the decreasing number of women MPs in the Coalition government's ranks, and what differences this signifies in the political culture of the major parties.

'The 2016 election has left the Liberal-National Coalition with 12 women MPs in the House of Representatives. That’s a mere 16%, down from 20% after the 2013 election, and it could go to 15% if the Coalition retains Herbert and Hindmarsh.

'This contrasts with Labor, which currently has 67 seats including 28 women MPs. The seat of Herbert – where it stood a female candidate – is still in doubt. But Labor has certainly increased its proportion of women MPs from 36% in 2013 to 42%, a proportion that won’t go below 41% and could be as high as 43%.

'The divide in gender balance between Australia’s two major political parties has steadily increased since Labor introduced quotas for women in 1994.'


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