Politics: Why we need more women in Parliament

I promise this is absolutely my last post about abortion decriminalisation. Promise.

But I just did the head count of who voted for what. I shouldn’t do this, because it always annoys me, but there you have it.

There are 16 women and 24 men in the Upper House. Of the women, 13 voted to decriminalise abortion. Of the men – 10 did.

I think the feminist rant about men who want to impose their morals on women in situations that they will never personally have to face is kind of implied. I’m not going there. You can take it as read that I am annoyed by this, however.

I will merely remark that this is precisely why we need more women in Parliament. There are certain issues in which women generally have a greater vested interest than men (paid maternity leave, childcare, child support etc), and the above figures suggest, at least to me, that if we want to do something about them, women will need to do it ourselves – because it seems that the majority of men will not.

As in the case of the RU 486 bill a couple of years back, women brought this bill to the table. Women were the first speakers on this bill. A majority of women from all sides of politics voted in favour of it.

We have some excellent women in politics in Australia (we have some excellent men, too, but they are not who I am currently talking about), and this is a good thing. But it seems to me that we need more – especially if so-called women’s issues are to be adequately addressed in legislation.

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