Only 1% of girls aspire to a career in public office

  Photograph by John Tass-Parker              

It is disheartening today to see the results of a new survey of girls and women that shows only 1% of girls aspire to a career in public office.

While the results are unfortunately not surprising in a general sense - the extent to which respondents identify sexism as a factor in a political career really is depressing.

These results are yet another stark reminder that we all have to do more to encourage young girls and women to open their eyes to the great opportunities that a life in politics can present.

Politicians must be representative of the communities they are elected to serve. Women politicians do make a difference and they can change people's perceptions of politics - they also change the structural discrimination of old style political system and parliamentary conventions.

If we are to continue to enhance Australian parliamentary systems women must be part of that and there is no reason why they shouldn't be 50% of the equation.

Perceptions of politics by females will also change if we, as a broader community, embrace women in public roles and ensure that women are provided an equal playing field to their male counterparts in political life.  

Thank you to ‘Plan’ for undertaking this survey and prioritising this research.