Women celebrate 100 years at Parliament

Women from right across Eastern Victoria will join International Women’s Day celebrations at Parliament House on March 8, marking 100 years since women won the right to stand for the Victorian Parliament.

The milestone event will celebrate ‘extraordinary ordinary’ women.

“Our community is full of extraordinary women doing amazing things,” The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said.

“So often we see women whose achievements, leadership and contributions don’t get the recognition they deserve. This is a chance to celebrate the work they do to better the lives of people in their community, work and homes.”

Ms Bath said she and Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy were proud to welcome a new group of dynamic women MPs to parliament.

“The Nationals have a majority of women in the 60th parliament, based on merit and not quotas.”

The new Nationals MPs include Annabelle Cleeland (Euroa), Kim O’Keefe (Shepparton), Jade Benham (Mildura) and Gaelle Broad (Northern Victoria Region).

“We welcome our female MPs to the team, all are exceptional representatives, and strong local advocates, focused on the best outcomes for their local communities.” she said.

Ms Bath said the landmark Parliamentary Elections (Women Candidates) Act was passed in 1923, allowing women to stand for the Victorian Parliament.

“Since 1923, we’ve seen women from all walks of life shape our state through their commitment to service in public office.

“In 2023, women make up nearly half the parliamentarians across both our Houses. Over this time the women in our Parliament have been pivotal in strengthening our democracy, and have helped to build long lasting reforms that have improved the life of all Victorian women and girls.

Ms Bath encouraged women to apply for the Pathway to Politics Program. Applications are now open. The program is a national, non-partisan initiative that aims to change the face of politics by equipping women with the skills, knowledge, confidence and networks they need to run for elected office and thrive as political leaders. https://pathwaystopolitics.org.au/