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1943: Election of the first women members of the Australian Parliament: Enid Lyons (House of Representatives) and Dorothy Tangney (Senate)

21 August All day

At the Federal election of 1943, Enid Lyons (united Australia Party) and Dorothy Tangney (Australian Labour Party) became the first women to be elected to the Australian parliament. A video from the National Museum of Australia on this page tells their story.

Today much remains to be done to counter ongoing resistance to hearing women’s voices in the public square. Our first female Prime Minister endured sustained misogynistic attacks and the digital world is another space in which abuse can silence women’s voices.

A 2018 Ipsos MORI poll found that:

“Two-fifths (40%) of women who said that they had experienced abuse or harassment on a social media platform either ceased or decreased their use of the platforms.

Some women are also restricting what they post about: 27% of those with an experience of online abuse or harassment said they had stopped posting content that expressed their opinion on certain issues, and 23% said they had stopped sharing content that expressed their opinion on certain issues.”

Amnesty International

The E-Safety Commissioner’s website offers resources specifically for women on this page.

Making the digital world a safe place for women and girls is the responsibility of all of us, especially boys and men. Contact Catholic social service organisations in your diocese to find out about their programs that help to promote respectful relationships. Contact details for member organisations of Catholic Social Service Australia are available here.