It’s been a big week in Australian politics, with the state government election in Queensland happening over the weekend, but amid the political storm, it seems the big winners during the election were women.
The weekend’s election seemed to be a big message to the LNP: People don’t want assets leased and they need to do some work to get the public on their side. While former Queensland premier, Campbell Newman, packed his bags and announced the end of his political career, the women of state parliament have stepped into the spotlight.
If the votes continue to go in Labor’s favour, Annastacia Palaszczuk will be the only woman premier in Australia. Feminist stateswoman, Anne Summers, shared a message on her Facebook page after the news of the impending election results, welcoming more women into politics.
“Aaaah Queensland. Returns a female premier, the only woman to lead a government anywhere in Australia at present. Significantly improves women’s representation in parliament,” she said.
“It’s now 30 per cent but that’s still not as good as it was under Anna Bligh’s government when it was Australia’s highest at 36 per cent. But such a clear lesson: Labor elects women; LNP gets rid of them. When will they address this clear injustice to women in their own ranks?”
As well as Palaszczuk being expected to take over the role, Labor is also churning out other high-profile female candidates, including the first Aboriginal member of parliament in Queensland, Leeanne Enoch.
The former high school teacher and state Red Cross director told the Guardian the great responsibility that comes with being the first of anything.
“I also accept when you are the first you have a responsibility to open the door as wide as possible, to as many people as possible, whatever those roles may be,” she said.
In a report last year, called “Representation of women in Australian parliaments 2014”, it was found there was a lack of women in parliament across the country, revealing women are “significantly under-represented”, making up less than one-third of all parliamentarians and one-fifth of all ministers. Let us hope that the plight for women in politics is set to change.