From 14.5% to 50%: EMILY's List succeeds in parliamentary equality campaign
After beginning the campaign for parliamentary equality in the early 1990s, EMILY's List members and supporters were thrilled on 26 July when the Labor Party restated its commitment to gender equality by adopting an EMILY's List/National Labor Women's Network motion to bring about 50% by 2025.
After months of negotiations by ALP "faceless femmes", the motion to change the party's affirmative action rule was announced to a standing ovation at National Conference.
The new affirmative action rule - which embeds a gender quota and a penalty for non-compliance - will be phased in, with the current target of 40% lifted to 45% by 2022 and 50% by 2025.
National Co-Convenor Tanja Kovac said the rule change is the "final stage of a campaign which began with EMILY's List founding women in the early 1990s and has continued ever since".
"EL founding members were integral to the ALP integrating affirmative action into its national platform in 1994, including the late Joan Kirner AC. Many women in the broader labour movement have worked tirelessly ever since to monitor the party's AA performance and ensure that targets have been increased".
After the initial target of women being preselected in 35% of all winnable state and federal seats by 2002 was achieved, this target was later lifted to 40% by 2012.
"The ALP's AA targets assisted in increasing the proportion of Labor women federally from 14.5% in 1994 to 38.2% in 2015. They also played a major role in women now making up 47% of the Victorian Caucus and 41% of Cabinet and 39% of the Queensland Caucus and 57% of Queensland Cabinet."
"40% is not equal. This is why we fought such a long and challenging campaign to change the minds of men and women in the party to lift the target to 50%".
EMILY's List thanks federal Labor leader Bill Shorten for his support of our campaign and his acknowledgement of the importance of gender equality to the Labor cause and we acknowledge the many male champions of change who supported our campaign to lift the target to 50%.