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These Charts Show Malcolm Turnbull Has A Huge Problem With Women

We're going backwards.

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With one seat left to be decided in Australia's 2016 federal election, one thing is already clear: for the next three years less than one third of our federal MPs will be women.

Malcolm Turnbull's government will have five fewer women than when Tony Abbott won the election in 2013.

Anna Mendoza / BuzzFeed News

A total of 42* female MPs out of a possible 150 have been elected to seats in the 45th parliament's house of representatives.

The Coalition's female representation has fallen from 18 to 13, compared to 63* men.

Let me say that again: 13 women out of 76 Liberal/National MPs.

Labor’s female representation has increased from 21 to 27.

Both major parties will have fewer women in the senate. Labor is projected to drop from 14 to 11 female senators and the Coalition may end up with as few as six (down from eight).

*That number could rise to 43 if Labor’s Cathy O’Toole defeats the LNP’s Ewen Jones in the North Queensland seat of Herbert.

With less than one third of parliament made up of women, Australia has fallen below what the United Nations regards as the 30% "critical mass" - the minimum level necessary for females to influence decision-making in parliament.

Lukas Coch / AAPIMAGE

In April, the federal executive of the Liberal party agreed to set a target of 50% female MPs by 2025. Labor agreed to the same goal at its national conference last year.

But that hasn't appeared to have any effect in reality.

Seven Coalition women retired at the 2016 election and six of their seats were taken by men.

Australia ranks 54th in the world for representation of women in parliament.

Denyse Uwera Kamugwiza / AP

Data from the International Parliamentary Union shows only two countries in the world have more women than men in their parliaments.

Rwanda has the most female representation in the world at 63.8% - that's 51 out of 80 lower house seats.

Followed by Bolivia with 53.1%, or 69 out of 130 seats.

Bolivia, Cuba, Senegal, Mexico, South Africa, Ecuador, Namibia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, East Timor, Slovenia, Uganda, Costa Rica, Macedonia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, Tunisia, Cameroon, Trinidad and Tobago, Sudan, the UK, Afghanistan and Kazakhstan all rank higher than Australia.

Liberal senator Linda Reynolds says the Liberal party won't introduce quotas for female representation because they're a short term "quick fix".

.@lindareynoldswa nobody wants to be seen as the token person who is there as a quota.

"Nobody wants to be seen as a token person who's there as a quota... I find it quite demeaning," she told Sky News.

Critics argue there's only a semantic difference between targets and quotas, but the senator disagrees.

She says quotas are about filling a seat for the sake of numbers and the targets are about making "genuine and sustainable change" that a whole organisation can work towards.

The former chief of staff to Tony Abbott disagrees.

Peta Credlin says the Coalition’s policies are antiquated because only a handful of women help write them, and that's one big contributor to the party's recent disappointing election result.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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