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Should political parties and business groups have a quota system for women?

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 21 January, 2013 - 5:26 PM
Judith Troeth. (Photo: Craig Abraham)

With women under-represented in both Victorian and Federal parliaments, former Federal Liberal Party Senator Judith Troeth has called on the party to ensure more females were encouraged to stand for election.

Speaking with Tom Elliott, Judith Troeth who was Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry between 1997 and 2004, said she had suggested in 2010 that the Liberal Party introduce a quota system for women.

Should business groups and political parties have quota systems to guarantee more women are represented? Comment below

"For all of my political life, both inside the party and in parliament, I've been waiting and waiting and waiting to see more women in Parliament," she said.

"There have been brief bursts of activity but I think the will is not there for larger numbers of women to come into parliament."

However Tom Elliott disagreed with merits of a gender quota system, saying once the quota precedent was set for women, other groups such as homosexuals and different ethnic groups would also be entitled to a quota.

"I do think that you should pick the right person to do the job, irrespective of gender," he said.

In the Victorian Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly which combined have 128 Members of Parliament, the Liberal Party is represented by 15 women and the ALP is represented by 24 women.

In Federal Parliament, of the 226 Members of Parliament in the House of Representative and Senate, the Liberal Party is represented by 19 women while the ALP is represented by 38.

LISTEN: Judith Troeth speaks with Tom Elliott:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • @ No Quota - you are spot on! Everywhere you look the quota system has loaded organisations with bitchy women even the magistracy, the civil service, police, military and so on it goes even by Gillard trashing a white woman and replacing her with another just because she wanted an aboriginal person in the job. It is bloody blatant 'legalised' discrimination indeed.

    Sandra M Saturday 26 January, 2013 - 12:50 PM
  • Please excuse me 3AW: Bloody Hell "mylene"; I've just agreed with you. Am I going insane? Oh there is another alternative (thank Heaven): You might be moving slightly to the right. (I hope) Thanks 3AW.

    David T. Friday 25 January, 2013 - 5:34 PM
  • Absolutely and categorically, not. A quota? We are trying to improve the quality of our politicians. Merit must be the criteria. Whether that results in a female or male politician is immaterial. Unfortunately, our current "leaders" seem to feel the pay rises they have received with quality improvement the aim, is some reward for their incompetence.

    David T. Friday 25 January, 2013 - 4:31 PM
  • No way should there be a quota based on gender. Where you went to school and who your parents are however ... :p

    mylene Tuesday 22 January, 2013 - 8:19 PM
  • Please name one good female politician (on either side) past or present. Certainly the former female state premiers and the current prime minister are and were, totally incompetent. This has nothing to do with gender...but fact. Many males are useless too of course.....

    Graeme Tuesday 22 January, 2013 - 7:19 AM
  • One is either capable of doing a job or not. That is called merit. Merit is not defined by sex, religion nor ethnicity. However, merit according to those who support "positive discrimination", is not a prerequisite in selecting people for employment or education. The education system and employment system already practices sexual and racial discrimination. White men and women, regardless of their qualifications are routinely bypassed in (racial) preference to Australian indigenous people where it is POLICY to fill these indigenous quotas. The same perverse morality exists, blatantly, where men's qualifications are ignored in favour, by the plainly sexist policies of quotas, of less qualified women. There is no such thing as positive discrimination, only discrimination. And consider this....how does the indigenous person, or the women feel when they know that they have been installed ahead of better qualified persons purely by virtue of their sex or race? If you'd like to go one step further, from a human rights perspective where all people are to be considered equal, where do the practices and wishes of these pro quota types fit? Their notions are racist and sexist.

    Eddy Monday 21 January, 2013 - 10:24 PM

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