Today, September 19, is Suffrage Day. On this day in 1893, women got the vote.
We've come a long way since 1893. A third of our MPs and a quarter of our Cabinet Ministers are now women. At the same time, we've clearly got a long way to go - only a third of our MPs and a quarter of our Cabinet Ministers are women. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was recently told to get on the spouse's bus by some moron who didn't think a woman could be a Prime Minister. Journalists still treat women as political appendages of their partners. And then of course there are the policy problems: a yawning gender-pay gap which shows that women are systematically undervalued, a glass ceiling which still sees them systematically underrepresented in the top jobs, sexual violence and all the victim-blaming and fear that goes with it. More women in Parliament might help solve some of these problems. Unfortunately, thanks to National, we seem to be heading in the opposite direction.