Women in Charge: Politics in a Women Majority Local Council in Australia

Hilde Bjørnå


Abstract

The article is based on a study of a local council in Australia where women representatives hold a majority of the seats. How do these representatives understand their role in this context? What is their preferred style of doing politics, and what can explain their political aims and behaviour?

What we find is that these women representatives are oriented toward green politics and prefer deliberative decision-making. This case study of a local council in Queensland suggests that the political objectives and style of women representatives largely reflect the specific local context, the electoral system and the political composition of the council, and not just the fact that women hold more than 70% of the seats. However, women representatives do feel that “numbers matter” for their ability to be acting out “who they are” in politics.

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