Good leadership means equal representation for women

We know women are underrepresented in politics. Instead of wringing our hands, we must take positive steps to change that. By Professor Helen Sullivan. March 8, 2016 in The Age newspaper

Seven out of every 10 members of Parliament are men. Imagine for a moment if, instead, five out of 10 members were women. Let's go further. What if in all levels of government women were represented equally as MPs, as ministers, on commissions, and in local councils?

If you believe there would be differences, then you must think having more women in government could fundamentally change our society. I agree, and evidence bears this out.

What if policies were debated on their merit, rather than attacked to score short-term political gains? A recent study by Sarah Anzia, at Stanford University, and Christopher Berry, at the University of Chicago, on US congressional representation found that congresswomen sponsor more bills and obtain more co-sponsorships for their legislation than their male colleagues do.

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Professor Helen Sullivan