I received a blog that talked about Women in the United States Senate and thought I would look at Women in the Australian Parliament and do a comparison.

Australia became a Federation in 1901.  Women were allowed to vote and stand in the federal election in 1903, after the Commonwealth Franchise Act was passed in 1902.  Whereas, in America, women were allowed to vote from 1920.

Australia was the first country to allow women to stand in elections, although women weren’t successful until 1943 (Edith Lyons and Dorothy Tangney), at the federal level.  Jeanette Rankin of Montana, elected in 1917, was the first woman member of the United States House of Representatives. Hattie Caraway of Arkansas first appointed in 1932 was, in 1933, the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

There have been 39 women in the United States Senate since the establishment of that body in 1789.  229 women have served in total as of 2009 in the United States House of Representatives

There have been 80 women in the Australian Senate and there have been 85 women in the Australian House of Representatives since the establishment of the Parliament of Australia.

What does all this mean?  Nothing much, just an interesting exercise!

Sources: Women & Government in AustraliaWIC