Sarah and Toni on women in politics
International Women’s Day is a time for celebrating all the women in our lives and to acknowledge the unique challenges women can face around the world. At a luncheon held in Mudgee Toni Grant, wife of NSW Nationals Leader Troy, and Sarah Mitchell MLC spoke passionately about their own experiences as women in the political sphere.
Toni and Sarah spoke about the necessity to have a strong support network, especially when it comes to juggling work with children and home life.
Toni spoke at length on the challenges of moving to a new town, with a new baby, a new job and no community support. Troy Grant’s work with the police force meant their family moved often, and after the birth of their first child, she gave up work to stay home, “You learn to become superwoman. My god it’s exhausting,” she said.
Sarah talked about her experiences as a young mother working the demanding hours that a life in parliament entails, “Having had the experience of being both a pregnant woman and a new mother in this place, I have always found parliament to be a very accommodating workplace for women.
“I feel it's important to dispel the myth that it is a boys club. I have never been treated any differently as a young woman in the parliament”.
Sarah voiced her support for the Nationals ‘Pledge for Parity’, which aims to have equal numbers of men and women in the Party by 2025.
“In the past 97 years, the Nationals have had 250 state and federal members of parliament, but only 10 have been women.
“As Nationals we need to promote this so that women don't feel gender is a barrier to putting their hand up for public office.”
The Leader’s Taskforce established by Troy Grant and Chaired by Life Member and former Member of the Legislative Council Jenny Gardiner is doing fantastic work in promoting diversity in the NSW Nationals, especially in the promotion and support of women. To read more about the recent work of the Leader’s Taskforce, please click here.