Online Project Showcase

'Women in the House' - Training to get more women elected

  • Organisation:

    Women for Election Australia

  • ABN or Auspicing Organisation:

    Auspiced through NFAW

  • Scope of Activity:


  • Geographic Location:

    NSW, ACT and VIC

  • Target Groups:

    Business Professionals
    Gay and Lesbian
    Rural / Regional


Funding Information

  • Total Funding Required (AUD):


  • Current Funding (AUD):


  • Funding Needed (AUD):


  • Tax Deductability Status (DGR):


  • Tax Concession Status (TCC):


  • DGR Additional Information:

    currently seeking DGR, auspiced through NFAW

  • Other Funding Partners:

    Maddocks lawyers, Vasudhara Foundation, Callida Consulting, Code4, Fijitsu

Project Information

  • Project Commencement Date:
  • 01 Jan 2018
  • Project Completion Date:
  • 01 Aug 2019
  • What issues are addressed?:
  • Gender inequality in Australian politics has significant implications for our nation’s wellbeing. Australia has one of the highest education rates of women globally, yet an astonishing low number of women in senior political roles. Ranked 43rd out of 187, Australia sits behind New Zealand (9th), Uganda, Zimbabwe, the Philippines on female political empowerment. Women comprise less than 30% of MPs and 24% of Federal Cabinet, a downward trend since 2008.

    Having so few women at all levels of government means that women are subject to major decisions that impact them substantially but have little or no voice to effect change. The full-time gender pay gap is approximately 18%; women earn roughly 82% of a man’s pay. The active participation of women in decision-making at all levels of public office is essential to ensure that vital legislation affecting women, children and families is passed, supporting a viable future for all generations.
  • Project Description:
  • WFEA is conducting a ‘Women in the House’ conference at NSW Parliament House on August 2019. The program includes keynote speakers from across political parties, at the federal state and council level. The event is being promoted widely to women from diverse communities considering standing for public office, women already standing or in public office and seeking higher office, and those who want to help women get elected. WFEA seeks funding to scholarship participants to this program. It also seeks funds to run follow-up events, such as a networking event in late October. All of these programs will be designed to inspire, equip and sustain women candidates/elected women.
  • Alleviating suffering / disadvantage?:
  • Under-representation of women in parliament is a significant challenge in Australia. Despite several women achieving high profile roles in Commonwealth, state and territory parliaments, women continue to be significantly under-represented in all tiers of Australian government. Significant social and cultural factors inhibit women from participating on an equal basis as men. Research undertaken by WFEA, ‘Futureproofing Australia: Gender Diversity in Politics’, reflects that campaign costs, candidate selection process, prevailing political culture and dearth of female role models, childcare and the cost to families, and conflict in values with colleagues are challenges facing women seeking to enter public life. This project addresses these issues and will provide skills, tools and ongoing support to inspire, equip and sustain women to enter and continue in public office to create more effective, representative government.
  • Changing Policy, Practices & Systems?:
  • Greater female representation in government has led to:
    • In the UK, legislation on equal pay, employment and violence against women;
    • In Iceland, legislation regarding parental leave, day care, gender pay equity, quotas for women on boards, removal from families of perpetrators of domestic violence;
    • In the USA, double the number of bills related to women’s health being co-sponsored by progressive female legislators compared with their male colleagues;
    • In Sweden, more items being passed for legislation, leading to faster change than during all-male parliaments (Iwanaga 2008);
    • In Colorado (USA), bills proposed by women found to be more effective in addressing crime;
    • Less hierarchical, more collaborative, participatory ways of working, across party lines,
    • Improved social outcomes including poverty reduction, improved health, education, wellbeing.
  • Investing in or empowering women?:
  • This project invests in women considering public office or currently in public office seeking to move up the ladder. WFEA’s training program on August 2019 at NSW Parliament House will provide training in building confidence to run for public office, building effective campaign teams, fundraising, budgeting, managing the media, and addressing structural barriers. It will also provide storytelling and mentoring from women in public life during a World Café session where 12 elected women from across parties and independents (WFEA is non-partisan) will share stories, successes, challenges with 100 participants. Panel discussions will inform and inspire as will keynote addresses.
  • Media / Promotion?:
  • WFEA uses social media to highlight why gender balance in Parliament is critical. Elected women in Iceland, Sweden and the UK have passed legislation on gender pay equity, domestic violence, parental leave, women on corporate boards. Women are noted for working collaboratively, less hierarchically, putting through effective legislation more quickly. WFEA’s media campaign focuses on the difference having more women in elected office can make in Australia where numbers of elected women are low and issues affecting women, children, families are ignored.

    WFEA is launching a new campaign #Looks Like a Politician (women featured) to address the negative image politics has that discourages women from standing. Media supporters are writing articles for print, online publications addressing the importance of having more women elected and how that impacts Australian women. WFEA’s media campaign targets journalists via Twitter; its Chair and CEO has appeared on ABC Radio, Women’s Agenda, other media.

    WFEA has recently signed on high profile ambassadors to lift the profile of its work. These ambassadors include Ann Sherry AO, Dr John Hewson AM, Anna Bligh AC and Diana Ryall AM.
  • How is success evaluated / measured?:
  • The ultimate success factor will be when the number of women standing for seats in local, state and federal elections increases, and when the number of women in all levels of government moves toward parity.

    Along the way, WFEA will measure quantitative outcomes including the number of women:
    • standing at each election;
    • who stand for elected office and have participated in WFEA programs;
    • participating in WFEA’s programs;
    • who participated in WFEA programs and are active on WFEA’s facebook community, actively supporting women candidates if not standing themselves.

    WFEA will also measure qualitative outcomes including, through research and surveys:
    • the impact that participation in WFEA programs has made in their lives;
    • the impact of the programs and mentoring in seeking, attaining, staying in public office;
    • the demand for WFEA programs regionally, nationally; and
    • the impact with partner organisations supporting women in leadership roles.

Contact Information

  • Contact Person:

    Licia Heath

  • Email:

  • Website:

    Click Here

  • Phone: