Essential Report

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%).

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