Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Australia (Commonwealth of Australia)

Australia (Commonwealth of Australia) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 46 of 151 (30%) seats in the House of Representatives are held by women.

At a glance

Structure of Parliament: Bicameral

Are there legislated quotas...

  • For the Single/Lower House? No
  • For the Upper House? No
  • For the Sub-National Level? No

Are there voluntary quotas...

  • Adopted by political parties? Yes

Is there additional information?...

  • No

Last updated: Feb 17, 2020

Single/Lower House

House of Representatives

Total seats 151
Total Women 46
% Women 30%
Election Year 2019
Electoral System AV
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Australian Labor Party [ALP] In 2002 the ALP introduced a 40 per cent quota for party positions, union delegations and for pre-selection for public office and positions at a State and federal level, building on a 35 per cent quota introduced in 1994. Either of the sexes shall be represented by no less than 40 per cent on party electoral lists. (National Platform and Constitution 2009, Article 10a.) The ALP has adopted a 50 per cent gender diversity target for government boards to be achieved within the first term of a Labor government and 40 per cent for women's representation in Chair and Deputy Chair positions on government boards by 2025 (National Platform 2018)

* Only political parties represented in parliament are included. When a country has legislated quotas in place, only political parties that have voluntary quotas that exceed the percentage/number of the national quota legislation are presented in this table.

Additional Information


Additional reading

  • Parliament of Australia. 2019. "Members by Gender". Online. Available at:
  • McCann, J. and Sawer, M. 2018. 'Australia: The Slow Road to Parliament', in Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook and Netina Tan (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Women's Rights, Palgrave Macmillan: London
  • Krook, M.L. et al 2006. 'Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand: Gender Quotas in the Context of Citizenship Models', in Dahlerup, D. (ed.) Women, Quotas and Politics, London/New York: Routledge, pp. 194-221.
  • Whip, R. 2003. ‘The 1996 Australian Federal Election and its Aftermath: a Case for Equal Gender Representation’, Australian Feminist Studies, 18, 40: 73–97.
  • Chappell, L.A. 2002. Gendering Government: Feminist Engagement with the State in
    Australiaand Canada, Toronto: UBC Press.
  • Sawer, M. 2002. ‘The Representation of Women in Australia: Meaning and Make-Believe’, in K. Ross (ed.) Women, Politics, and Change, New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 5–18.
  • Tuohy, W. 2002. ‘Labor’s young women ready to rumble’, The Age, 12 October.
  • Johnson, C. 2000. ‘The Fragility of Democratic Reform: New Challenges to Australian
    Women’s Citizenship’, in S.M. Rai (ed.) International Perspectives on Gender and Democratisation, New York: St. Martin’s Press, pp. 182–201.
  • Van Acker, Elizabeth. 1999. Different Voices: Gender and Politics in Australia. South Yarra: Macmillan Education Australia.
  • Carney, S. 1996. ‘Labor Women are still doing it for themselves’, The Age, 16 November.
  • Zeitlin, Di. 1996. ‘We’re Here because we’re Here: Women and the ALP Quota’, in Gender, Politics and Citizenship in the 1990s. Barbara Sullivan and Gillian Whitehouse (eds). Sydney: University of New South Wales.
  • Pickles, Carolyn. 1995. ‘Gender Equity: Barriers to Electing More Women to Parliament – and Some Solutions’, Parliamentarian. Vol. 76, no. 4. pp. 290-293.
  • Sawer, M. 1994. ‘Locked Out or Locked In? Women and Politics in Australia’, in B.J. Nelson and N. Chowdhury (eds) Women and Politics Worldwide, New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 73–91.
  • Simms, M. 1993. ‘Two Steps Forward, One Step Back: Women and the Australian
    Party System’, in J. Lovenduski and P. Norris (eds) Gender and Party Politics, Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 16-34.

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