Pushy. Irrational. Emotional. This is how the Liberal Party dismisses its women.

In a similar fashion as one would give a partner, I have given the Liberal Party my love, my loyalty and my faith for some time.

But like any damaging relationship, this is not a perfect love story.

I have been employed by state and federal politicians, involved in numerous internal party affairs, and have firmly believed in the principles for which the Party has stood. Through the leadership of John Howard I was invigorated by the idea that politics and the Liberal Party could achieve results for mainstream Australia.

Nearly 50% of the NSW Liberal Party is made up of these women. Women who brave the carnage of the sewer that is politics. But too often their commitment goes unappreciated and their faith is too often met with subtle hostility.

The women of the Liberal Party have 99 problems and Tony Abbott is not really one. It’s the everyday sexism and boys-club of the Liberal Party that is the problem. Tony Abbott can hardly be blamed solely for the fact that although women make up nearly half of the NSW Liberal Party, they aren’t running for parliament. And when they do? Statistics show it is generally for the marginal seats that much of the time, they lose.

I have been asked multiple times why the male dominated parliament bothers me, as women dominate in other fields “like nursing, or teaching”. My response is that nursing and teaching are not created as representative positions, and there is a reason that we call it “The House Of Representatives”.

Julie Bishop, Bronwyn Bishop, Michaelia Cash, Fiona Nash – were you asked?

When the men of the Liberal Party sat around a board room table drinking scotch, after the announcement of Tony Abbott’s one-woman-ministry and entertaining the question of “how did we get here” I wonder if they bothered to ask any of the Liberal Party women.

Was it possibly the fact that over decades they have created an environment where a woman is forced to adhere to “masculine” traits to compete on their turf, yet at the same time can be undermined and condemned for being too “masculine”?


I have witnessed myself the hushed condemnation of working mothers by people at party meetings, yet at the same time the freak-show treatment of women who opt to remain childless in order to serve their community, business and careers.

I have seen women who express assertiveness and ambition – traits that we should be celebrating – labelled as “pushy”, “irrational”, and “emotional”.

The everyday sexism is rife, and yet no one wants to be the whistle blower. Because for every comment you make an issue of, 100 other women will let slide. And then you become the lone, politically correct witch.

In the Liberal party, every path a woman takes is a double edged sword.

I have been blessed to have met so many strong and passionate women through the Liberal Party, and the sacrifices I have witnessed them make, both at a senior and grassroots level for the principles they adhere to is remarkable. They are smart, and capable and deserve their seat at the (cabinet) table.

I was initially concerned that an article discussing the problems for women in the Liberal party would have trouble being published. With the every changing cycles of media fads, Australia seems content to forget that politics is no friend to women, and maybe this article is not “topical enough”.

But it is a daily reality for me.

My relationship with the Liberal Party is a life-long commitment, and like any woman in love, it hurts me to be so critical.

I still believe firmly in the principles of the party, and I have firm faith in what Tony Abbott will achieve for Australia. But I will not ignore the ongoing cultural issues of the internal party, for while you deny the problem, it can never be properly addressed.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous.

Is the Liberal Party sexist? Our writer who wishes to remain anonymous, certainly thinks so but we’d love to hear from those with alternative points of view. Do you think all political parties face issues of sexism?