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?...
Last updated: Aug 16, 2022
House of Representatives
|Quota Type||No legislated|
|Election details||IDEA Voter Turnout - IPU Parline|
|Quota Type||No legislated>|
|Election details||IPU Parline|
|Quota type: No legislated||Constitution|
|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.
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).
- 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.
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Australiaand Canada, Toronto: UBC Press.
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- Tuohy, W. 2002. ‘Labor’s young women ready to rumble’, The Age, 12 October.
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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.