Liberal MP Sharman Stone calls for quotas for women

Liberal MP Sharman Stone says her party needs to set targets to boost the number of women running in winnable seats, like Labor has.

Government backbencher Sharman Stone

Government backbencher Sharman Stone Source: AAP

A federal Liberal MP has called on the party to introduce targets for women running in winnable seats, saying meritocracy hasn't worked.

Member for Murray Sharman Stone, who was a frontbencher in the Howard government, says Labor's quotas on women's participation hasn't led to two classes of politicians in caucus.

And she points out ministerial portfolios for National Party MPs are handed out based on the number of seats they win rather than on merit.

Former Liberal senator Sue Boyce said a male-dominated system still controlled the party, with almost 80 per cent of the executive leadership being men.

It was no longer good enough to argue women should be promoted on their merit.

"I can't ever remember (them) saying `we need a man of merit' - it just seems to me women have to have merit," she told ABC radio on Tuesday.

Men were more likely to see merit in men like them, rather than women with contrary views, she said.

Liberal frontbencher Christopher Pyne the party does need to do more to encourage women into parliament but he opposes a quota.

"I don't like quotas because it's instinctively anti-Liberal ... it's not necessarily merit-based", Mr Pyne told ABC Radio.

"You can actually encourage more women through other means besides quotas."

2 min read
Published 28 July 2015 at 8:46am
Source: AAP