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Canberra Today 2°/7° | Sunday, May 22, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Most women contesting unwinnable seats, study shows

ONLY two-in-10 female candidates from Labor or the Liberal-Nationals Coalition are contesting winnable seats, a new study has revealed.

The Australian National University (ANU) analysis of the 151 House of Representatives candidates from the Coalition and Labor shows both major parties are more likely to put men forward for seats they’re expected to win or retain.

This election, 43 per cent of female candidates are standing for Labor while 29 per cent of female candidates are running for the Liberal party.

Professor Ryan. Photo: ANU.

The ANU’s Professor Michelle Ryan said the findings show that as a nation we have a “long way to go to achieving gender equity in politics.”

“As major political parties make up the vast majority of MPs in the House of Representatives, increasing the number of female candidates they put forward at each election is important in ensuring our Parliament represents the diversity of the community,” Professor Ryan said.

“What is equally important is making sure that these female candidates are running in seats they can reasonably be expected to win.

“We’ve found that not only are there fewer women contesting seats in this election overall – they’re also less likely to win and this is a big loss for our democracy and for Australia.”

For Labor, 24 per cent of the party’s female candidates were contesting winnable seats, compared to 33 per cent of male candidates.

The Liberals and Nationals have 20 per cent of their women candidates running in safe seats, compared with 46 per cent of the men.

The analysis comes as the latest ANUpoll shows Australian voters are more likely to vote for women than men.

The survey of more than 3500 voters found 52.8 per cent of voters would be very likely to vote for a woman, compared to 43.4 per cent of voters who said the same about male candidates.


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