Home » The Feminine Cabinet Of Australia

The Feminine Cabinet Of Australia

by Narges Mohammadi

Anthony Albanese says his cabinet has the largest number of women in history. Is that correct

The claim

The new Labor government has moved quickly to demonstrate its bona fides on an issue that for years dogged the Coalition: female representation in its senior ranks

With the unveiling of his ministry on May 31, 2022, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese claimed to have appointed a record number of women to cabinet positions

“This is the largest number of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet, with 10 women in the cabinet,” he said. So, has Labor clinched the record? RMIT ABC Fact Check investigates

The verdict

Mr. Albanese’s claim is correct. The previous record was 8 women in cabinet, or 34.8 per cent of cabinet positions, achieved during the final term of Scott Morrison’s Coalition government

The first ministry of the Albanese Labor government includes 10 women in cabinet, taking their share of these senior positions to 43.5 per cent

Increasing representation

From federation until the election of John Howard’s Coalition government in 1996, there was never more than one woman in cabinet at a time

The number of female cabinet members then ranged between one and three under Mr. Howard, and from four to six under the Rudd-Gillard Labor government

The peak during Malcolm Turnbull’s Coalition government was also six, a number maintained as a minimum after Scott Morrison became prime minister in 2018

Mr. Morrison’s history

Two months before the 2019 election Mr. Morrison increased the number of women in cabinet to seven, and upon re-election claimed that his new ministry “maintains the record representation of women in cabinet for an Australian government

Fact Check found that this claim checked out, both on the raw number and in proportional terms. His cabinet’s seven women accounted for 30.4 per cent of 23 positions, just edging out the previous 30 per cent record under Kevin Rudd, when women held six of 20 positions

Over the remainder of Mr. Morrison’s term, several ministerial reshuffles saw the number of women in cabinet fall then rise again

A new peak was reached in July 2021 when Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie, who had resigned from cabinet the previous year, rejoined her party’s frontbench

As Liberal MP Melissa Price had also recently returned to cabinet, that took the number of women in cabinet to eight, and the share of female membership to 34.8 per cent. The rate dipped to 33.3 per cent with the expansion of cabinet to 24 members in October 2021

So, did Labor break the record

Mr. Albanese claimed to have appointed “the largest number of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet”. As the government’s June 1 ministry list shows, 10 women were given cabinet positions, making up 43.5 per cent of the 23-person total. On both measures, this surpassed the peak under the previous Coalition government and so set a new record for women in cabinet

Katy GallagherFinance; The Public Service; Women
Linda BurneyIndigenous Australians
Penny WongForeign Affairs
Tanya PlibersekEnvironment and Water
Catherine KingInfrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Michelle RowlandCommunications
Madeleine KingResources; Northern Australia
Amanda RishworthSocial Services
Julie CollinsHousing; Homelessness; Small Business
Clare O’NeilHome Affairs; Cyber Security

You may also like

Leave a Comment

All rights of this website belongs to Jahan Banou News agency. There are no obstacles in re-publishing the contents of this platform by mentioning the reference.