Published on 21.04.2023 | By Weronika Sagan
The world we live in today has been greatly influenced by the contribution of women. Women have made remarkable progress in diverse fields such as politics, fighting for their right to vote and promoting gender equality. Although there has been significant advancement, females are still insufficiently represented in positions of political leadership.
Australia, like many other countries, has a long way to go in achieving gender equality in politics. Women are underrepresented in all levels of government, from local councils to federal parliament. Despite this, women have played a crucial role in shaping Australian politics and society, and their continued involvement is essential for achieving true equality and progress.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
There are several reasons why it is so vital for women to be involved in politics. They bring a unique perspective and insights to the table. Various life experiences, which shape their values, beliefs, and priorities, give women a distinctive outlook towards the world. For too long, political systems have been dominated by men who are not always attuned to the needs and perspectives of women. The presence of women in political leadership presents a valuable chance for them to have an impact on the policies and choices that affect their lives. An example of this can be seen in the fact that women are impacted more severely than men when it comes to concerns like maternal health, rights related to reproduction, and acts of violence based on gender. Females engaged in politics have the ability to endorse regulations that bolster impartiality between genders, the rights of women, and fairness within society. These policies not only benefit women but also improve the lives of all citizens.
In addition, the presence of women in politics enhances the quality of governance results. Studies have proven that governments that maintain a balance of genders tend to be more efficient in their approach towards tackling a wider range of issues. The contribution of women to politics is significant as it brings forth a multitude of viewpoints and insights which are instrumental in ensuring that governmental policies and judgments are impartially directed towards the betterment of all citizens, rather than being confined to a select few. Gender diversity in politics has been linked to improved governance outcomes, such as higher levels of transparency, accountability, and responsiveness to citizens.
Furthermore, female politicians serve as inspirations for upcoming generations. Women's presence in leadership roles motivates young girls and women to aspire for leadership roles and careers in diverse areas, such as politics. Women's participation in politics serves as a remarkable demonstration of their capability to thrive in influential and authoritative roles, and demolish preconceived notions and hindrances that restrict women's abilities. The presence of women in leadership roles has the potential to enhance the prominence and portrayal of women in politics, and motivate their involvement in the political arena.
“I was not going to stand before the nation as prime minister and cry for myself. I was not going to let anyone conclude that a woman could not take it.”
Julia Gillard, 27th Prime Minister of Australia
There are several notable woman in Australian history who have contributed greatly to shaping Australian politics and society as a whole. We can take a look at Dame Enid Lyons, who was the first woman to be elected to the Australian House of Representatives in 1943. She was a staunch advocate for women's rights and worked tirelessly to promote gender equality. Throughout her political career, she championed the issues of women, families, and children, and fought for the rights of workers and the disadvantaged. Or we can consider Susan Ryan - Australia’s first female federal minister. She played a pivotal role in the development of Australia's affirmative action policies and was instrumental in the introduction of paid parental leave. She also championed the rights of women, minorities, and the disadvantaged, while promoting gender equality. There are many other incredible examples and they all have one thing in common - all the women left behind a legacy that forever changed Australia.
However, despite the importance of women in politics, women face significant barriers in their quest for political leadership positions. Gender-based discrimination and stereotypes limit women's opportunities to participate in the political process. Women face greater scrutiny and criticism than their male counterparts, often facing questions about their competency and suitability for political leadership roles. Women also bear the burden of caring responsibilities, which limits their time and resources for political activities.
This is a problem, and it's one that we must address urgently. To increase women's participation in politics, there is a need to fix these barriers. It is crucial for political parties and institutions to establish avenues for women to participate in politics at every stage and assist them in advancing their political careers. The implementation of measures like affirmative action, quotas, and gender-sensitive training programs can facilitate a rise in the the representation of women in politics. Additionally, it is vital to challenge gender-based stereotypes and biases that limit women's potential and perpetuate gender inequality.
The presence of women in political leadership positions is crucial to promote gender equality and enhance policymaking that is both inclusive and effective. Women offer invaluable viewpoints, diverse backgrounds, and necessary abilities that are crucial in bringing about thoughtful choices that benefit a wider community instead of a privileged group. A collective endeavor from policymakers, political factions, civic organizations, and individuals is necessary to attain parity between genders in politics. By collaborating with each other, we have the ability to establish a society that is fair, impartial, and financially successful, providing opportunities for all individuals to prosper, irrespective of their gender.