Women face numerous barriers when trying to achieve many things in life, but when they enter politics, those gender biases and stereotypes go up to a whole new level.
From discrimination and harassment, both online and offline, to traditional gender roles and societal expectations, to media focus on female politicians’ appearance, when women enter politics their experience is completely different – and much more challenging – to that of their male counterparts.
In Australia recently, there’s been a lot of focus on gender bias and inequality in government at all levels and what’s become obvious is that women are much better represented in the Labor Party than in the Liberal Party. This is mainly due to the work of EMILY’s List.
EMILY’s List was originally started in the US in 1985 by activist Ellen Malcolm that aims to help elect Democratic female candidates in favour of abortion rights to office. EMILY’s List Australia was founded in 1996 by Leonie Morgan and its founding members include Joan Kirner and Australia’s first (and only) Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.
Join me in conversation with the CEO of EMILY’s List Australia, Pamela Anderson, as we discuss the unique challenges aspiring female (and minority) politicians face and what support is needed and given to help overcome those challenges.
We also have a good conversation about why it’s so important that our government representatives are a true reflection of society and the different kinds of misogyny that women face in the workplace today.
Because ultimately, achieving gender equality in political representation is not just a matter of fairness; it is a prerequisite for creating a truly democratic and inclusive society.