2019 election: Why politics is toxic for Australia’s women

World News


2019 election: Why politics is toxic for Australia’s women


Australian women in politics have had enough.

A slew of allegations of sexist bullying and misogyny have emerged in recent years, while at the same time the country has steadily tumbled down the global rankings for female political representation.

Australia has tended to favour "larrikin" and "aggressor" MPs who thrive in the "rough-and-tumble" atmosphere of Canberra. But women MPs are increasingly saying that's a culture in dire need of change.

As the country prepares to go to the polls on Saturday, the BBC looks at what's come to be known as the "women problem" in Australian politics.

Sarah Hanson-Young was 25 when she won a seat in Australia's Senate in 2007, the youngest woman ever to do so.

The Greens member has always been a forthright voice on progressive issues and women's rights, but she has spoken extensively about how this was against a backdrop of mutterings from male opponents "about my dress, my body, and my supposed sex life".

She had largely ignored them, choosing the well-trodden path of rising above it all. But an exchange in parliament last year proved the final straw.

Click here to read the full article published by BBC on 16 May 2019.

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