Minister for Women (Australia)

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Minister for Women
Coat of Arms of Australia.svg
Commonwealth Coat of Arms
Kelly O'Dwyer 2017.jpg
Incumbent
Kelly O'Dwyer

since 20 December 2017
Office for Women
StyleThe Honourable
Reports toPrime Minister of Australia
AppointerGovernor-General of Australia
on recommendation of the Prime Minister of Australia
Formation16 August 1976 (1976-08-16)
First holderTony Street
Websiteminister.women.gov.au

The Minister for Women in the Government of Australia is Kelly O'Dwyer, who took office on 20 December 2017.[1] Ministers holding the position, first introduced in 1976 during the Second Fraser Ministry, have held several different titles. They have often held other portfolios, and sometimes sat in Cabinet of Australia. Almost all office holders have been women.

History[edit]

A women's affairs branch was established within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in 1976.[2] Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser announced he wished to "have formal machinery set up for the co-ordination of government activity in women's affairs".[3] He appointed Tony Street as the first Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Women’s Affairs;[4] Street and his successor Ian Macphee are the only men to have held the post. Senator Margaret Guilfoyle, the only female minister at the time (and one of only six women in parliament), declined the position, as she was unwilling to be pigeonholed into portfolios that were considered "women's work".[5]

Scope[edit]

In the Government of Australia, the Minister administers the portfolio through the Office for Women within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, with the budget being administered through the Department of Social Services. Currently, the Minister works with other Government Ministers to ensure that women’s issues and gender equality are taken into consideration in policy and program development and implementation. The Office for Women supports the Minister in this role, and is the central source of advice for Government agencies on the impact of Government policies and programmes for Australian women.

List of Ministers for Women[edit]

The following individuals have been appointed as Minister for Women, or any of its precedent titles:[6]

Order Minister Party Prime Minister Title Term start Term end Term in office
1 Tony Street   Liberal Fraser Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Women’s Affairs 16 August 1976 (1976-08-16) 8 November 1976 (1976-11-08) 84 days
2 Ian Macphee 8 November 1976 (1976-11-08) 20 December 1977 (1977-12-20) 1 year, 42 days
3 Susan Ryan   Labor Hawke Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women 11 March 1983 (1983-03-11) 19 January 1988 (1988-01-19) 4 years, 314 days
4 Margaret Reynolds 19 January 1988 (1988-01-19) 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 2 years, 75 days
5 Wendy Fatin 4 April 1990 (1990-04-04) 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 2 years, 354 days
  Keating 20 December 1991 (1991-12-20) 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24)
6 Rosemary Crowley 24 March 1993 (1993-03-24) 23 December 1993 (1993-12-23) 274 days
7 Ros Kelly 23 December 1993 (1993-12-23) 1 March 1994 (1994-03-01) 68 days
8 Carmen Lawrence 25 March 1994 (1994-03-25) 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 1 year, 352 days
9 Jocelyn Newman   Liberal Howard 11 March 1996 (1996-03-11) 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 1 year, 212 days
10 Judi Moylan Minister for the Status of Women 9 October 1997 (1997-10-09) 21 October 1998 (1998-10-21) 1 year, 12 days
n/a Jocelyn Newman Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women 21 October 1998 (1998-10-21) 30 January 2001 (2001-01-30) 2 years, 101 days
11 Amanda Vanstone 30 January 2001 (2001-01-30) 7 October 2003 (2003-10-07) 2 years, 250 days
12 Kay Patterson 7 October 2003 (2003-10-07) 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 2 years, 112 days
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women's Issues 26 October 2004 (2004-10-26) 27 January 2006 (2006-01-27)
13 Julie Bishop 27 January 2006 (2006-01-27) 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 1 year, 310 days
14 Tanya Plibersek   Labor Rudd Minister for the Status of Women 3 December 2007 (2007-12-03) 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 2 years, 285 days
  Gillard 24 June 2010 (2010-06-24) 14 September 2010 (2010-09-14)
15 Kate Ellis 15 September 2010 (2010-09-15) 14 December 2011 (2011-12-14) 1 year, 90 days
16 Julie Collins 14 December 2011 (2011-12-14) 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 1 year, 278 days
  Rudd 27 June 2013 (2013-06-27) 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18)
17 Michaelia Cash   Liberal Abbott Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women[7] 18 September 2013 (2013-09-18) 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 4 years, 93 days
Turnbull 15 September 2015 (2015-09-15) 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21)
Minister for Women 21 September 2015 (2015-09-21) 20 December 2017 (2017-12-20)
18 Kelly O'Dwyer 20 December 2017 (2017-12-20) Incumbent 512 days

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Current Ministry List". www.aph.gov.au. Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Adviser 'named soon'". The Canberra Times. 15 March 1976.
  3. ^ "Women's affairs". The Canberra Times. 6 July 1976.
  4. ^ "Assistant ministers appointed". The Canberra Times. 17 August 1976.
  5. ^ Margaret Fitzherbert. "GUILFOYLE, DAME MARGARET GEORGINA CONSTANCE (1926– )". The Biographical Dictionary of the Australian Senate. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Ministries and Cabinets". 43rd Parliamentary Handbook: Historical information on the Australian Parliament. Parliament of Australia. 2011. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  7. ^ Taylor, Lenore (18 September 2013). "Portfolio details spell out Tony Abbott's role as women's minister". www.theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 23 September 2013. "Women's policies and programs" as well as Indigenous affairs, deregulation, national security and relations with state governments are all specified responsibilities of Tony Abbott, who has appointed West Australian senator Michaelia Cash as minister assisting the prime minister for women.