Expressions of interest: 2023 Pathways to Politics Program for Women

The missing women of Australian politics: How violence against women creates barriers to female representation

Empty benches in Victorian parliament
Medha Majumdar for Emily’s List Australia, 2021

In her report The missing women of Australian politics: How violence against women creates barriers to female representation, 2020/21 Julia Gillard Next Generation intern Medha Majumdar explores the negative impact of violence against women in pursuit of political careers at all stages of their involvement in the political process.

The report makes 27 recommendations to reduce the prevalence of abuse and harassment against women in political organisations and politics more broadly. These include:

  • Young women and girls must be targeted to become engaged in politics. They need to be shown that they already hold the personal qualities needed to be a political leader (i.e. they don’t need to fit a “macho mould”).
  • All political parties should make not engaging in intimidation, bullying and harassment a requirement of receiving party endorsement.
  • Political parties should review its pre-selection rules in order to promote transparency and competitiveness of contests, and reduce the ability of intimidation and bullying tactics to be used.
  • Safety guidelines for candidates in elections should be released by police forces and electoral commissions in Australia.

Read the report
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