Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians

Communication – Advocacy – Engagement

Welcome to CWP Website which has been established by the CWP Steering Committee, representing women MPs in all State and Territory legislatures.

Our mission is to increase female participation in Australian politics. We have developed this website in order to raise awareness by publishing the latest facts and performance indicators for individual legislatures.

The CWP Steering Committee believes Australian political and party behaviours and cultures need to improve if we are to achieve equitable outcomes for women in Parliament. Moreover, women who are elected to Parliament deserve to be heard on policy and governance issues, especially gendered issues such as domestic violence where our laws and programs have tragically failed too many women.

Thank you for taking an interest in these issues – we appreciate any feedback to help build this website into a major resource for all Australian women MPs, their parties and the public who are all stakeholders in this important cause.

The CWP conducts ongoing research into current figures of women in politics, with Branch Representatives providing current figures to the CWP Secretariat. 

Composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender: a quick guide 

Click here for the most recent tables showing the composition of Australian parliaments by party and gender

Current CWP Action Agenda

The CWP Steering Committee is committed to supporting Australian women parliamentarians and is currently focussing on:

  • Advocating for professional training, support and counselling for members of parliament when they are dealing with traumatic and sensitive issues;
  • Advocating for assistance on safety issues, sexual harassment and bullying in parliaments;  and
  • Work on future pathways for women parliamentarians. 

Group photo – CWP Australian Region Conference, Adelaide, October 2019


2017 CWP Australian Region Conference Video

Stepping-Up, 30 Nov 2016 – Parliament of Tasmania

Empowering Women – Changing Lives Breakfast

Join Baroness Jean Corston, UK Parliamentarian, for the 3rd annual Empowering Women – Changing Lives breakfast at NSW Parliament House on Wednesday 14 September 2016. Invitation and more information can be found here

ACT ‘Stepping Up’ video highlights

The video can be accessed here

Updated CPA Australian Region Rules – June 2016

The CWP election rules can be accessed here

Media personality Jessica Rowe’s response to Eddie Mcquire’s offensive comment

The video can be accessed here

Death of Jo Cox MP – Media statement by the Hon Catherine Cusack MLC

The media statement can be accessed here

‘Stepping Up’ May 9 – NSW Parliament House

On 9 May the NSW CWP launched Stepping Up, an initiative by NSW Chair Jenny Aitchison to encourage young women to consider a career in politics.

The day included lunch with Madame Speaker, speeches given by Premier Mike Baird and Catherine Cusack, a Pathway to Politics panel, and workshops conducted by the National Institute of Dramatic Arts.

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Women in Global Parliaments Forum, May 4-5 2016

Catherine Cusack represented Australia in an International CWP delegation to the Women In Parliament (WIP) Conference, held in Amman, Jordan.

Catherine chaired a workshop on “Political Violence Against Women” which attracted passionate agreement that all Parliaments must act to ensure respect and safety from bullying, harassment and violence directed to female MPs on the basis of their gender.



International Women’s Day 2016

A strong gathering attended the Parliament of South Australia’s IWD celebration.

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Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians 2015 Conference

The 2015 CWP Conference took place at NSW Parliament House on 9 & 10 July 2015 and brought together members of Parliament from Australia, New Zealand and our Pacific neighbours- including Tuvalu, Cook Islands, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, Kiribati and Niue. The Conference also opened its doors for the first time to women from the private sector and welcomed representatives from Cystic Fibrosis NSW and Girl Guides Australia, amongst other organisations.

Conference attendees participated in variety of sessions and panels on women’s representation in Parliament, the value of “Male Champions of Change”, as well as discussions on life after politics. The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian MP and The Hon. Linda Burney MP acted as Conference Co-patrons with the Chair of the Australian Region CWP Steering Committee, The Hon. Catherine Cusack MLC, convening events over the two days.

Speakers included current Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, journalist Monica Attard and Federal Minister for Communications the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP. Former Premier of Queensland Anna Bligh also featured as Keynote Speaker at the Conference luncheon on Thursday.

The New South Wales Parliament also hosted over 200 guests from the government, legal and private sectors as part of the Katrina Dawson Foundation Luncheon, held on Friday 10 July. Former Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce delivered a moving speech as Patron of the Foundation and the event also saw the launch of the Women MPs Alumnae, with The Hon. Helen Coonan and The Hon. Rosemary Crowley AO as co-patrons of the organisation.

All folder containing all conference photos can be downloaded here