Women needed

By Country News

Federal Member for Indi Cathy McGowan has called for representation quotas to be imposed on agricultural boards to ensure at least 30 per cent are women.

Ms McGowan made the comments in parliament last week and said following on from government policy implemented in 2016, which set the target for at least 50per cent of government board positions to be held by women, it was time to focus on meeting the targets in agriculture.

‘‘In agriculture, there are 18 government boards with 114 positions and 39 women in those positions, which is 34 per cent — way short of the target,’’ Ms McGowan said.

‘‘Across government portfolios of agriculture and water resources, Attorney-General, communication and the arts et cetera, they found that, second to the Attorney-General’s, agriculture has the lowest representation of women on boards.’’

Although acknowledging there had been progress, Ms McGowan said there was more to do to increase representation across rural research and development corporations, agricultural committees, panels and councils.

‘‘We’ve moved some way,’’ she said.

‘‘There has been some effort, and slowly there has been an improvement, but it’s not nearly enough.’’