POWER LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN: Australians concerned that women are significantly underrepresented across all levels of Government

Women for Election urges Australians to rethink the face of power ahead of the Federal Election and support a new era of female political leadership

Sydney – Women for Election, a for-purpose organisation that provides practical support for women seeking to enter politics, is urging more Australian women to get involved in politics and become political representatives. The organisation is calling on Australians to reconsider how they view power, including political power, ahead of the imminent Federal Election in a campaign launched today, titled ‘Power like you’ve never seen.’ 

New research commissioned by Women for Election, has revealed Australians see a distinct problem with gender diversity in politics. A clear majority of Australians surveyed (61%) are concerned that women currently hold only 36% of positions across all levels of government. Approximately half of the Australians surveyed (49%) don’t think their voice is represented by today’s political leaders. 

Australians also see a clear solution for increasing women’s representation: 44% of Australians have a woman in their life who they think would make a great political representative, and one in two Australians believe more women elected to public office will effectively address gender inequality in Australia today. 

The campaign, launched today on television and billboards around the nation by Women for Election and supported by UN Women Australia, calls on Australians to question their ideas about what power looks like in Australia – and what needs to change. 

Women for Election CEO Licia Heath said: “Australians are ready for more women in office; in order to make that vision a reality, we need to change our idea of what power looks like in Australia. We’ve seen women reclaim it by marching in Canberra, and now we want them to exercise it by taking a seat in each of Australia’s political chambers, be that Council, State or Federal. 

“As we wait for the Federal Election to be called, it should be front of mind for every voting Australian: what change do I want to see in the world? Who do I want to see on the ballot in future elections? How can my vote help achieve that vision by identifying and supporting female candidates on the ballot sheet?” 

There’s support for increasing representation of women in politics, with most men (52%) stating they would like to see more women in politics, along with 73% of female respondents. 

UN Women Australia CEO Simone Clarke said: “Women are still under-represented in political and economic decision-making globally. Gender equality and SDG 5 cannot be achieved without equal female representation, and an equal distribution of power, irrespective of gender. The world’s most pressing challenges can only be addressed when women enjoy equal participation, representation, and opportunities to lead – everyday, everywhere.” 

“Most Australians know a woman who is a natural leader in their community who they’d love to see in Australian politics,” said Licia Heath. “Those women who rally support for their communities for critical issues from bushfire recovery to resources for local schools, raising funds and local support for local issues. These women are using their skills every day to better their communities. 

“Sadly, too many people have come to view a political leader as someone who doesn’t exhibit these skills and outdated views of power is at the core of that. It’s time to update our views, use our vote to improve gender diversity, and embrace a new vision of power in Australia.” 

To find out more about the campaign head to: https://powerlikeyouveneverseen.org/ 

ENDS 

For more information, please contact:

Caitlin Young 
Sefiani Communications 
Email: cyoung@sefiani.com.au 
Phone: (+61) 404 168 147 

Shannon O’Mara 
Sefiani Communications 
Email: somara@sefiani.com.au 
Phone (+61) 407 770 994 

Notes to editors 

About Women for Election Australia: 

Women for Election is a not-for-profit organisation, focused on increasing the number of women successfully running for elected office in Australia. Founded in 2014, Women for Election provides programs specifically to empower and help women overcome the many challenges they may face when considering a career in politics and is paving the way to gender parity in Australian Government. 

About the research: 

An online survey of n=1,017 Australians was conducted for this study. Quotas were set to ensure the sample was nationally representative in terms of age, gender and location and interviews were conducted throughout the month of November 2021.