Here's what I wrote about doing this series, back in 2008, and it held true in 2011 too:
The idea of this analysis is not to say "you should vote for the party with the most women candidates." The point is to provide some information that may give you some insight to the role of women within the party in question, and to also highlight the women who are standing in this year's General Election.Since the 2008 election we have only had a lady Queen and Chief Justice. The purpose of this series of posts remains the same.
[In 2008] When we our current and immediate past Prime Minister have both been female, a Queen is our Monarch, a woman sits in the Speaker's Chair, and [laydeez] fill a variety of high profile roles in our democratic institutions it is sometimes easy to forget that our current Parliament has only 40 women MPs, out of 122. That's around 33%, when women are a little over 50% of the general population. Better then most other countries in the world, but still a long way from parity.
And how do women get to be MPs? They need to rise up through party organisations to be nominated for electorates and for list spots, and in order to actually make it into the House they need to be candidates in winnable positions. So it's important to not only consider how many women a party puts up as its representatives, but also whether they are likely to get that opportunity in a practical sense.
In 2011 this issue finally got some mainstream media coverage, particularly around the poor level of representation for women in the likely National caucus (only 25%), both through the list and safe seat selections. It will be interesting to see if this happens again (both the media attention and National's low level of women).
The 2014 A Woman's Place series (alphabetical order, added to as I do them):
- Greens 2014 - 36% over whole list (19/53) - 60% in top ten
- Internet Party 2014 - 40% over whole list (6 out of 15) - 50% in top ten