Women in Politics

Mar 30, 2021

Q. Currently there are 45 (out of 151) federal MPs who are women.

To what extent to you agree or disagree with the following reasons why there are fewer women than men in parliament.

TOTAL: Agree Mar’21 Feb’19
Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisations 63% 57%
The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, not women 56% 54%
Women choose not to get involved with politics 43% 47%
Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women 40% 39%
Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician 20% 20%

 

TOTAL: Agree Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisations 63% 58% 68% 66% 61% 62% 71% 59% 75% 56%
The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, not women 56% 53% 60% 54% 59% 56% 63% 52% 67% 55%
Women choose not to get involved with politics 43% 52% 34% 36% 45% 47% 37% 51% 39% 49%
Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women 40% 43% 36% 52% 40% 29% 37% 46% 39% 41%
Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician 20% 28% 12% 23% 23% 13% 16% 27% 17% 19%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 332 382 386 382 389 92 122
  • The main barrier to female representation in parliament is seen to be the parties themselves. Almost two-thirds agree that political parties do not do enough to encourage gender equality in their organisations. Agreement with this statement has increased from 57% in 2019. The majority of Coalition (59%), Labor (71%) and Greens voters (75%) all agreed with this statement.
  • Just over half of people (56%) agreed that the selection process is biased towards men.
  • Women are more likely than men to agree that ‘Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisations’ (68% to 58%) and ‘The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, not women’ (60% to 53%).
  • While men are more likely than women to agree that ‘Women choose not to get involved with politics’ (52% to 34%), ‘Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women’ (43% to 36%) and ‘Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician’ (28% to 12%).

Views towards workplace culture and treatment of women in Parliament House

Mar 30, 2021

Q. Following allegations of sexual assault and misogynistic behaviour by staffers, a review into Parliament House workplace culture has been initiated.

Which of the following is closest to your view on the issue?

  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Recent revelations about the culture in Parliament House is an isolated workplace issue, primarily about the safety of women working in politics 40% 50% 30% 47% 44% 29% 30% 52% 30% 41%
Recent revelations about the culture in Parliament House are symptomatic of the discrimination of women in society 60% 50% 70% 53% 56% 71% 70% 48% 70% 59%
Base (n) 1,100 539 561 332 382 386 382 389 92 122
  • More people believe that the allegations of sexual assault and misogynistic culture in Parliament House is a wider society issue, than isolated to Federal politics (60% to 40%).
  • This view was more strongly held by women than Men (70% to 50%).
  • Labor and Greens voters were more likely to think the culture is shared by society (both 70%), while Coalition voters were more likely to believe the issues are isolated to politics (52%).

Gender in politics

Feb 5, 2019

Q. Currently there are 43 (out of 150) federal MPs who are women. To what extent to you agree or disagree with the following reasons why there are fewer women than men in parliament?

  Strongly agree + Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree + Strongly disagree Strongly agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Strongly disagree Don’t know
Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisations 57% 30% 22% 35% 19% 11% 14%
The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, rather than women 54% 28% 20% 34% 17% 11% 18%
Women choose not to get involved with politics 47% 41% 12% 35% 23% 19% 12%
Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women 39% 46% 10% 29% 28% 18% 15%
Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician 20% 72% 7% 14% 23% 49% 8%

Over half of all people agreed that “Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisations” (57%), “The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, rather than women” (54%) and disagreed that “Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician” (72%).

  Total

(Strongly agree + Somewhat agree)

Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+
Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisation 57% 53% 61% 59% 55% 56%
The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, rather than women 54% 50% 57% 56% 48% 57%
Women choose not to get involved with politics 47% 50% 44% 43% 44% 53%
Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women 39% 38% 40% 46% 37% 35%
Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician 20% 25% 15% 29% 17% 15%

By gender, males were more likely than females to agree that “Women choose not to get involved with politics” (50% vs. 48%) and “Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician” (25% vs. 15%). 

  Total

(Strongly agree + Somewhat agree)

Labor Liberal + National Greens NET: Other
Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisation 57% 64% 51% 70% 51%
The process used by political parties to select electoral candidates favours men, rather than women 54% 65% 48% 64% 45%
Women choose not to get involved with politics 47% 41% 56% 38% 52%
Voters prefer to elect men, rather than women 39% 40% 42% 45% 35%
Women are less likely than men to have the experience and skills to make a good politician 20% 16% 27% 14% 19%

Over half of voters for all political parties agreed that “Political parties do not do enough to ensure gender equality in their organisation”.

Gender quotas

Feb 5, 2019

Q. To what extent do you support or oppose political parties setting gender quotas when selecting candidates to achieve a representative number of women in parliament?

Total Male Female Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
NET: Support 46% 45% 48% 59% 44% 38%
NET: Oppose 40% 44% 36% 29% 40% 49%
Strongly support 18% 17% 19% 26% 14% 14%
Somewhat support 29% 28% 29% 33% 30% 24%
Somewhat oppose 20% 21% 19% 16% 19% 22%
Strongly oppose 20% 23% 18% 12% 21% 26%
Don’t know 14% 12% 16% 12% 16% 14%

Just under one in five (18%) strongly support the introduction of gender quotas when selecting political candidates. Overall support was highest among 18-34 years olds (59%).

Total Labor Liberal + National Greens NET: Other
NET: Support 46% 59% 37% 65% 32%
NET: Oppose 40% 30% 50% 22% 52%
Strongly support 18% 24% 13% 27% 11%
Somewhat support 29% 36% 24% 38% 22%
Somewhat oppose 20% 17% 22% 16% 25%
Strongly oppose 20% 14% 29% 6% 28%
Don’t know 14% 10% 12% 13% 15%

Support for gender quotas was highest among Greens voters (65%), followed by Labor (59%). Under half of Coalition voters (37%) were in support.

Quotas for women

Sep 25, 2018

Q. Would you support or oppose the Liberal Party adopting quotas to increase number of Liberal women in the parliament?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote Other
Total support 61%   63% 68% 68% 50%
Total oppose 21%   18% 27% 14% 35%
Strongly support 19%   17% 21% 32% 18%
Support 42%   46% 47% 36% 32%
Oppose 14%   12% 16% 13% 23%
Strongly oppose 7%   6% 11% 1% 12%
Don’t know 18%   19% 5% 18% 15%

 

61% support the Liberal Party adopting quotas to increase number of Liberal women in the parliament and 21% oppose.

68% of Liberal National voters support quotas for women and 27% oppose.

56% of men support quotas for women compared to 65% of women.

Obstacles to women getting ahead

Aug 30, 2016

Q. Which of the following statements is closest to your view?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Men Women Aged 18-34 Aged 35-54 Aged 55+
Significant obstacles still make it harder for women to get ahead than men 46%   48% 41% 71% 46%   31% 60% 43% 45% 51%
Obstacles that made it harder for women to get ahead are largely gone 40%   39% 47% 20% 45%   53% 27% 42% 37% 40%
Don’t know 14%   13% 12% 9% 10%   16% 13% 15% 18% 9%

46% think significant obstacles still make it harder for women to get ahead than men and 40% think that those obstacles are largely gone.

Those most likely to think there are still significant obstacles were Greens voters (71%) and women (60%).

53% of men think those obstacles are largely gone.

Women’s sport

Jul 7, 2015

Q. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Total agree

Total disagree

Strongly agree

Agree

Disagree

Strongly disagree

Don’t know

Total agree men

Total agree women

In general, women’s sports are just as exciting as men’s

61%

28%

17%

44%

21%

7%

10%

55%

68%

The media does not pay enough attention to women’s sports

68%

20%

27%

41%

16%

4%

12%

62%

75%

In general, people are not interested in watching women play sports

42%

43%

7%

35%

30%

13%

15%

40%

43%

Most women aren’t interested in playing or watching sports

27%

60%

4%

23%

40%

20%

13%

30%

24%

Women athletes are great role models for girls

84%

7%

36%

48%

4%

3%

9%

78%

90%

In general, compared to men, sportswomen are underpaid and the financial rewards inadequate

72%

13%

34%

38%

9%

4%

16%

65%

78%

A substantial proportion of respondents agreed that “Women athletes are great role models for girls” (84%), “In general, compared to men, sportswomen are underpaid and the financial rewards inadequate” (72%) and “The media does not pay enough attention to women’s sports” (68%). A majority also agreed “In general, women’s sports are just as exciting as men’s” (61%). They were divided 42% agree/43% disagree over whether “In general, people are not interested in watching women play sports” but 60% disagreed that “Most women aren’t interested in playing or watching sports”.

Overall, women had a more positive opinion than men on most issues except “In general, people are not interested in watching women play sports” where men were 40% agree/44% disagree and women 43% agree/42% disagree.

Pressure on women over behaviour and appearance

Oct 22, 2012

Q. Do you think women face more or less pressure over their behavior and appearance than they did 20 years ago?

 

Total

Men

Women

Aged 18-34

Aged 35-54

Aged 55+

Total more

49%

39%

58%

56%

44%

48%

Total less

30%

37%

25%

27%

33%

30%

A lot more

24%

14%

34%

24%

23%

27%

A little more

25%

25%

24%

32%

21%

21%

A little less

15%

16%

14%

17%

15%

13%

A lot less

15%

20%

11%

10%

18%

17%

About the same

16%

17%

14%

9%

19%

19%

Don’t know

5%

7%

3%

8%

4%

3%

49% of respondents believe that women face more pressure over their behavior and appearance than they did 20 years ago and 30% think they face less pressure.

58% of women and 56% of people aged under 35 think there is more pressure on women.

By voting intention, 56% of Labor voters think there is more pressure compared to 52% of Greens voters and 45% of Liberal/National voters.

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