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In the state and territory parliaments the Speaker is the presiding officer in the lower or single house, and the President is the presiding officer in the upper house in bicameral parliaments. There is currently a female Speaker in seven of the nine parliaments in Australia see Appendix 4. There are currently no female Presiding Officers in an upper house in those jurisdictions with a bicameral parliament. The ministry is selected and led by the Prime Minister, and is responsible for the decision-making process of government.

The Commonwealth ministry, unlike the states and territories, is divided into an inner and outer ministry. This includes 5. Women have higher levels of representation in the Opposition ministry Figure 1: Proportion of women in Government and Opposition ministries in the 44th Parliament. In state and territory parliaments see Table 2 below women hold less than one-quarter of all ministry positions Table 2: Ministries and shadow ministries in Australian parliaments by gender, as at 30 April Members and senators may be appointed by the Commonwealth Government as parliamentary secretaries to assist ministers in their work.

They are sworn in as members of the Federal Executive Council, but do not have their own portfolio. In the past they were known as assistant ministers or parliamentary under-secretaries. In the House of Representatives, parliamentary secretaries sit in the row of seats immediately behind the government frontbench. They can stand in for a minister in the Chamber, and perform all the duties of the minister on the floor except for answering questions on portfolio matters.

Their legal status and extent of their powers is the subject of debate from time to time. All state and territory jurisdictions with the exception of the ACT have parliamentary secretaries in Qld they are known as assistant ministers. Table 3 below shows the current gender balance of parliamentary secretaries in all jurisdictions. Table 3: Parliamentary secretaries in Australian parliaments by gender, as at 30 April Of the 1, candidates in the Commonwealth election, This included women 27 per cent in the Senate half-election and An analysis of Australian Electoral Commission AEC data for Senate candidates between the and Commonwealth elections Table 5 below indicates that the proportion of nominations by female candidates in the election Over the twenty-year period, the highest proportion of female candidates for each of the major parties was attained in by the ALP Both of the larger minor parties the Australian Democrats and Australian Greens have consistently had a high proportion of women candidates in those elections contested.

The Democrats had the highest number of female candidates for that party in with Table 5: Percentage of female candidates for the Senate by party, — An analysis of AEC data for House of Representatives candidates between the and Commonwealth elections indicates that the proportion of nominations by female candidates in the major parties and larger minor parties remained steady at around 17—18 per cent between and , increasing to a high of As Table 6 shows, the proportion of female candidates for both major parties was relatively similar for Commonwealth elections held between and In , however, the proportion of ALP female candidates leapt from The proportion of female candidates for the Liberal Party increased substantially from 15 per cent in to Of the larger minor parties, the Greens and the Australian Democrats have maintained a relatively stable proportion of female candidates for those elections that they have contested, with the Greens reaching their highest level in Table 6: Percentage of female candidates for the House of Representatives by party, — Most Australian women excluding Indigenous women in some states won the right to vote in Commonwealth elections as a result of the passing of the Commonwealth Franchise Act Four women stood at the election, the first Commonwealth election conducted after the passage of that Act.

None of the four candidates were successful, but they were the first female candidates for any national parliament in the British Commonwealth. By all Australian states and the Commonwealth had enfranchised most women. Women won the right to vote in WA in , but they did not win the right to sit in the State Parliament until Since Federation, women have comprised just 11 per cent of the 1, members who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament see Figure 2 below. Figure 2: Total number of senators and members since by gender, as at 1 July As shown in Figure 3 below the highest level of female representation was achieved in Source: Gender and party statistics for all Australian parliaments regularly published by Parliamentary Library.

Bronwyn Bishop MP, currently Speaker of the House of Representatives and one of only five women to have held a seat in both Houses, is the second longest-serving woman in the Commonwealth Parliament with a total period of service of 26 years 10 months 21 days as at 30 June Kathy Martin later Sullivan is the longest-serving woman in the Commonwealth Parliament with a total service of 27 years three months and 25 days.

Appendix 7 provides a list of women who have served in the Commonwealth Parliament for ten years or more. Natasha Stott Despoja AD was previously the youngest, following her election to the Senate in at the age of Kelly Vincent D4D , elected to the South Australian Legislative Council in at the age of 21, is the youngest woman to be elected to any Australian parliament. Indigenous women are under-represented in all state and territory parliaments.

She was re-elected in and Alison Anderson was a minister in the Northern Territory government from until she resigned from the ALP in to become an Independent. Around one in five parliamentarians across the world are women. A comparison of the top 50 IPU country rankings for women in national parliaments in , and is at Appendix 1.

However of those national parliaments with an upper house, the Pacific region has the highest average number of women In September , women political leaders attending the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York noted that women comprised less than 10 per cent of world leaders and fewer than one in five parliamentarians.

Handbook National Legislatures Global by Steven Fish - AbeBooks

The Quota Project, a global database of quotas for women in politics, reports that half of the countries of the world today use some type of electoral quota system for women, including candidate quotas, reserved seats and voluntary quotas for political parties. Different systems are preferred in different regions. Reserved seats tend to be used in the Arab region, in South Asia and partly in Africa. The United Nations has identified a number of barriers that inhibit women from being elected to national parliaments including Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

These barriers include:. These include the electoral system, the turnover rate of parliamentarians, the party system, and the structure and operation of the parliament itself. International research over several decades has suggested that the type of electoral system used has a direct impact on the representation of women. The electoral system known as proportional representation PR involving multi-member electorates is widely considered to be more favourable to women than single-member systems.

It might also reflect the fact that most ambitious men aim for the lower house where government is formed, and regard upper house seats as career backwaters.

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Figure 5: Proportion of women senators and members in the Commonwealth Parliament, — The candidate selection process used by political parties is another significant factor in determining the level of parliamentary representation by women. Whereas, when there is only the one position there is considerable competition. Between and , only 26 female candidates were nominated for election to the Commonwealth Parliament, and no woman was endorsed by a major party for the Senate prior to the start of World War II.

By , only seven women had been elected to the Senate and three to the House of Representatives. A survey conducted by Malcolm Mackerras in the s however showed that, once female candidates were preselected, they were generally getting equal results to those of male candidates. It shows that the ALP has had the highest party representation of women in the Parliament since Table 7: Number of women in the Commonwealth Parliament by party, — Figure 6 illustrates the trends in female representation by major party across all Australian parliaments between and Figure 6: Percentage of women in all Australian parliaments by major party, — Source: Historical data for composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender, maintained by Parliamentary Library since The group claimed to have helped elect Labor women to parliaments across Australia by The Nationals provide opportunities for women to participate in the party and seek leadership or parliamentary office.

Amongst the larger minor parties, both the Australian Greens and the Australian Democrats have embraced gender equity as a founding principle in their respective organisations.

Constitution Rankings

In the ALP Conference endorsed affirmative action principles whereby women were to hold 25 per cent of all internal party positions. In the ALP adopted a mandatory 35 per cent preselection quota for women in winnable seats at all elections by Figure 7: Female candidates and elected members in House of Representatives by major party as percentage of total candidates and members elected, — Nevertheless, the issue has been the subject of debate in recent years.

In Liberal Party historian Margaret Fitzherbert noted that women gained prominence in the early years of the Liberal Party as a result of party activists promoting female candidates. Since the s, however, she observed that there had been a decline in numbers and an increasing reliance on merit-based preselection processes.

Account Options

By contrast, this working paper disaggregates democracy theoretically and empirically. Our theoretical framework shows how components of democracy affect costs and benefits of engaging in corruption and, therefore, the level of corruption overall. Whereas other studies examine only how democratic accountability imposes costs on those engaging in corruption and thus illuminate only the downward curve of the relationship, we also examine the transaction costs and political support benefits of corruption and therefore can explain the initial uptick in corruption at low levels of democracy.

Using measures of democratic components from Varieties of Democracy, we examine countries from to and find that freedoms of expression and association exhibit the inverted curvilinear relationship with corruption, and that judicial constraints have a negative linear relationship. Moreover, the introduction of elections and the quality of elections act jointly, but each in a linear fashion. The mere introduction of elections increases corruption, thus accounting for the upward sloping segment of the inverted curve.

Once the quality of elections begins to improve, corruption decreases, resulting in the downward-sloping segment of the curve. Economic growth has become one of the leitmotivs academicians and pundits ask once and again to assess democratic endurance over time. While large portion of the literature posits that economic growth is positive for democracy eg. Przeworski et al. Olson ; Huntington This paper fills these contrasting views asking whether economic growth can undermine democratic competition.

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We hypothesize that the relation between economic growth and party competition is mediated by the strength of political institutions and free expression. Economic growth promotes incumbency advantage. Rulers can artificially extend this advantage by narrowing the space for negative coverage and dissident voices as long as they have political room for maneuvering. We leverage exogenously-driven growth in Latin America to test this argument. Over the past two decades, the region experienced accelerated growth as a result of a global commodity boom.

Using data for 18 Latin American countries during this period, we show that faster economic growth led to significant increases in incumbency advantage in the legislature only where free speech was under attack.

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Our findings have important implications for literatures on democratization, natural resources, and economic voting. Political Analysis , Published online 3 September Data sets quantifying phenomena of social-scientific interest often use multiple experts to code latent concepts.

While it remains standard practice to report the average score across experts, experts likely vary in both their expertise and their interpretation of question scales. As a result, the mean may be an inaccurate statistic. Item-response theory IRT models provide an intuitive method for taking these forms of expert disagreement into account when aggregating ordinal ratings produced by experts, but they have rarely been applied to cross- national expert-coded panel data.

Women in African Parliaments

In this article, we investigate the utility of IRT models for aggregating expert-coded data by comparing the performance of various IRT models to the standard practice of reporting average expert codes, using both real and simulated data. Specifically, we use expert-coded cross-national panel data from the V—Dem data set to both conduct real-data comparisons and inform ecologically-motivated simulation studies.

We find that IRT approaches outperform simple averages when experts vary in reliability and exhibit differential item functioning DIF.

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