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Election 2016: Number of women in Parliament set to fall as males replace females in safe seats

Tom McIlroy reports in the Brisbane Times (19.5.16) on the likely sharp drop in numbers of female MPs after the coming federal election, with the Coalition parties in particular pre-selecting males to replace retiring female MPs in safe seats.

‘Outgoing Liberal MP Sharman Stone has warned the number of women in Parliament is likely to fall after the July 2 election, with at least four retiring female MPs in safe seats set to be replaced by men.

‘Of the 62 seats identified by the Australian Electoral Commission as marginal and seats where the sitting member is retiring or has been disendorsed by their party, 26 will be contested by two men from the major parties and 14 will be contested by two women.

‘The 44th Parliament, which was officially dissolved on Monday, included 72 female MPs – above the average for the past four parliaments of 64.25 female members – out of a total 226 elected representatives.’

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