PM ‘receptive’ to Liberal women MPs target

A government MP pushing for a target to increase the number of women in her party says the prime minister is “very receptive” to her idea.


Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro believes the party should implement a target of 30 per cent women and stop “toying around” with the idea of getting more females into politics.

The Liberal Party is coming under increasing pressure over its gender diversity as Labor aims for 50 per cent female representation within ten years.

Liberal federal president Richard Alston is open to the idea of setting targets and has set up a special committee to look into the issue.

Ms Gambaro, who has worked in business and politics, has spoken with Prime Minister Tony Abbott on many occasions and believes his female chief of staff Peta Credlin is on board.

“Every time I’ve met with him he’s been very receptive and very supportive,” she said.

She says women fight a harder battle in politics than in the business world.

“In business, if I met sales targets … you were rewarded accordingly,” she told ABC television on Wednesday night.

“It is a different culture in politics.”

Politics is governed by “many other, different factors”, she said, while calling for a better mentoring system within politics.

“We need to do much more, because clearly we are not the employer of choice at the moment for women.”

Women make up fewer than one in four federal Liberal MPs, and only two women are in the Abbott-government ministry.

Senior ministers agree the party should be encouraging women into the party but disagree with putting in place a quota or a target.