Is the inequality women still face in politics deterring our future politicians?
It was 29 September, 1943. Women all around the country were celebrating. It was the day Enid Lyons would stand as a member of the Australian parliament, the first woman ever to do so—an achievement for one woman, and a victory for all Australian women.
In the lead up and continuation of her career, Lyons was undermined by many. To them she could only be a mother or wife, and little respect was granted for her professional success.
Only sixty-seven years later, Australia voted in its first female prime minister. From the day she was elected in 2010, Julia Gillard faced a plethora of scrutiny by the media. She has been congratulated on the change she made for women in politics, but it came with a misogynistic price.
What does this say to young women, if what we’re seeing is that female figures in politics are still being burdened with scrutiny for the very fact that they were born female? Could these factors be discouraging young women from entering politics?