Labor has promised to introduce targets in the Australian honours awards system, in a bid to represent the achievements of the full population and help close the gender gap in who receives such gongs.
Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek said that an initial 30 per cent target will rise to 40 per cent by 2020, with the aim to have half of all awards going to women.
“Women contribute as much as men, and our honours and awards should properly reflect that,” Plibersek tweeted today.
“We will also change the honours system to better recognise contributions from First Nations Australians, people from a culturally and linguistically diverse background and people with a disability.”
There has long been a significant gender imbalance in the awards honours, with the vast majority going to men. Campaigns like Honour A Woman have been established to help fix the divide, especially at the nominations point. Women have received around 30 per cent of such awards since 1975. Men outnumbered women in 90 per cent of all categories in the Queen’s birthday honours, awarded last June.
Women contribute as much as men, and our honours and awards should properly reflect that. #HonouraWoman
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) January 23, 2019
Sharing the announcement with the Sydney Morning Herald today, Plibersek said Labor would mandate a 50 per cent female target on representatives on the council of the Order of Australia — which is ultimately responsible for determining award recipients.
Honour A Woman co-founder Ruth McGowan — who has been pushing for a 40:40:20 quotas, said the announcement was “fantastic news for all Australians.”
This is fantastic news for all Australians #HonouraWoman
— ruth mcgowan (@hula_grl) January 23, 2019