Whilst gender quotas of different kinds are widely used internationally to increase women’s participation in national parliaments, they have been somewhat controversial in the Australian context. In 1981 the ALP Conference endorsed affirmative action principles whereby women were to hold 25 per cent of all internal party positions. In 1994 the ALP adopted a mandatory 35 per cent preselection quota for women in winnable seats at all elections by 2002. The proportion of female candidates preselected rose from 14.5 per cent in the 1994 election to 35.6 per cent in the 2010 election. As Hutch Hussein points out, these figures clearly demonstrate how the rule changes within the ALP have helped to achieve greater gender equality in Australia’s parliaments.  From 1 January 2012 a 40:40:20 quota system will apply ‘to produce an outcome where not less than 40% of seats held by Labor will be filled by women, and not less than 40% by men’. The remaining 20 per cent may be filled by candidates of either gender. There is pressure within the party to increase the quota to 50 per cent. The Coalition parties (Liberal Party and the Nationals) have not adopted affirmative action measures for their respective parties’ parliamentary wings on the basis that gender quotas contradict the principle of merit. The Liberal Party uses women’s networks within the party, and provides support and mentoring to encourage women who stand for preselection. According to the Liberals’ Federal Women’s Committee, ‘[w]hilst the Liberal Party does not support the ALP’s quota system, the Party is aware that women of merit can be overlooked in our preselections processes, often because they lack the support and mentoring system that is often behind successful candidates’.
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18-09-2013 12:55 #221
18-09-2013 13:34 #222
I've just done some stats on the MPs by party and gender. Very annoyingly I've missed one somewhere because my totals are 1 short. GRRRRR.
I copied and pasted but it's not working and I need to do the school run.
18-09-2013 13:38 #223
I tend to agree with Pegasus on this. I had a huge career before I had kids which I couldn't maintain once I had small children. Long hours, overseas travel, working 7 days just wasn't compatible. I earned a lot of money doing all that. If I was to do it all on a politician's wage? No thanks. I realise most aren't motivated by money,but you have to pay for a nanny, or childcare, somehow. Or your partner stays home.
Last edited by Sonja; 18-09-2013 at 13:41.
18-09-2013 13:56 #224
They typically work for companies that aren't particularly family friendly
There is such a strong assumption that child care is women's work that many men who mention the idea of being a primary carer are laughed at and dismissed as just wanting to bludge.
My partner has had to walk out of important meetings to get to child care on time after clients have asked him 'why can't your wife get him?'
Because women's workplaces are still not breastfeeding friendly enough for mums to express or feed their baby if they still want to BF while dad is home.
Because being a SAHD is still a lonely gig (although in my neighbourhood there are a large minority of SAHD- probably because many of their wives also have high paying jobs)
Just a few reasons off the top of my head.
18-09-2013 14:13 #225
See what I find interesting is living in perth there are heaps of FIFO dads who are the primary caregivers on the weeks they are home. It's very normalised here. At school drop off and pick up about half are dads.
When I worked part time DH had to do drop offs and pick ups (more than me) and he had no dramas. These days professionals can do so much work from home the number of people walking out at 530 at my old firm was great.
I agree with breastfeeding though. We had feeding rooms and fridges at my old firm but tbh I just couldn't be bothered expressing. Female partners got 6 months leave (paid) to support breastfeeding.
I guess it depends on your industry. I don't really see those as impediments from where I'm coming from. That's why I was genuinely asking. I also haven't known that many male lawyers in my time who wanted to stay at home in the first 12 months.
ETA I am talking about situations where the female returns to work full time and her partner stays home full time. Not one part time and the other full time, which was my reality when I went back to work and was an absolutely nightmare.
Last edited by Sonja; 18-09-2013 at 14:24.
18-09-2013 14:22 #226
Drop off and pick ups are a bit different to being the primary carer of an infant or very young child, though. You see threads on here all the time about dads being made to feel unwelcome in parents rooms, etc. I can imagine they're made to feel extremely unwelcome at some mother's groups!
I also personally think that most women should be at home as the primary carer for at least the first 2-3 months. I think just in terms of physical recovery from birth that's what many women would need. So then it gets tricky because how do you swing that? Dad takes off 2 weeks at the birth, goes back to work for a couple of months, then takes extended leave? I can see that being hugely disruptive to a lot of people's jobs.
I think in theory it would be awesome for men to do a chunk of primary care with their babies, I'm just not sure exactly what the best way is to do it practically. I can see how many couples put it in the 'too hard' basket.
18-09-2013 14:39 #227
Mums do infantry
Dads do toddlerhood
No seriously though you both make good points. I do think there is a big difference between dads having work flexibility (allowing for drop-offs/pick-ups etc) and dads who totally give up work to be SAHD's. Australia is a very macho blokes sort of country - very different to Europe say - and many men would cop slack for it (from other men) I think. Men also tend to define themselves very much around their work, income capacity. I'm not saying this would be the case for all men, but certainly a lot IMO.
I think greater flexibility for ALL parents is key.
18-09-2013 14:41 #228
School run done.
MPs by political party and gender.
Party Male Female Total Liberal Party of Australia 41 (79%) 11 (21%) 52 The Nationals 10 (100%) 0 (0%) 10 Australian Labor Party 39 (67%) 19 (33%) 58 Country Liberal Party 0 (0%) 1 (100%) 1 Australian Greens 1 (100%) 0 (0%) 1 Independent 3 (100%) 0 (0%) 3 Katter's Australian Party 1 (100%) 0 (0%) 1 95 (75%) 31 (25%) 125
Data source: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members
So the coalition has 62 seats, 11 of which are held by women. (18%)
If anyone asks why no one is pointing out the gender in-balances in the CLP, AGs, Inds or KAP they will get a smack on the nose.
18-09-2013 15:56 #229
18-09-2013 16:16 #230-
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But my hubby has flexible work options where dads have as many rights as mums. I realise that isn't always the case.
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