Gender Quotas Database

Country Data



Australia (Commonwealth of Australia)

Australia (Commonwealth of Australia) has a Bicameral parliament with the use of voluntary party quotas. 58 of 151 (38%) 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?...

  • Yes

Last updated: Aug 16, 2022

Single/Lower House

House of Representatives

Total seats 151
Total Women 58
% Women 38%
Election Year 2022
Electoral System AV
Quota Type No legislated
Election details IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline

Upper House


Total seats 76
Total Women 43
% Women 57%
Election Year 2022
Electoral System AV
Quota Type No legislated>
Election details IPU Parline
  Legal source Details
Quota type: No legislated Constitution  
Electoral law  
Legal sanctions for non-compliance No data available
Rank order/placement rules No data available

Voluntary Political Party Quotas*

Party Official name Details, Quota provisions
Australian Labor Party [ALP] The ALP is committed to men and women in the Party working in equal partnership. It is our objective to have 50% women at all levels in the Party organisation, and in public office positions the Party holds. To achieve this, the Party adopts the affirmative action. This model in this clause: Minimum percentage of means 40%. From 2022 it means 45%; and from 2025 it means 50% (ALP National Constitution).
The Greens NSW The Greens NSW [Greens NSW] In all the activities and appointments of The Greens NSW, attempts shall be made to ensure that there is at least 50 percent representation by women and by members from outside metropolitan Sydney and representation by minority and disadvantaged groups (Article 1(4) of the Greens NSW Constitution, 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

In 1902 Australia became the first nation to introduce equal federal suffrage. The enactment of the Commonwealth Franchise Act in that year allowed women to both vote and stand for election. However, despite this ground-breaking legislation, it took another 41 years for the first women to be elected to the Australian Parliament (National Museum Australia).


Additional reading

  • The Guardian, Gender breakdown in parliament: Australia beats UK, US, Canada in female representation, 2021, The Guardian
  • See the latest updates on Australia on iKNOW Politics
  • Parliament of Australia. 2019. "Members by Gender". Online. Available here
  • 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, E. 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, D. 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, C. 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.

Additional reading

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