Liberal MP Felicity Wilson claims that she was ‘discouraged’ by members of her own party from starting a family prior to the election.
Wilson, who is now pregnant and hopes to encourage more women to get into politics, said women are often asked how they will take care of their children if they are elected to parliament.
The North Shore MP, who has only just revealed her pregnancy to her colleagues, said the comments didn’t come from her parliamentary colleagues, but from parts of the party membership.
Ms Wilson told The Daily Telegraph:
“This calendar year I’ve been discouraged from falling pregnant before the next election,”
“I’ve had a series of comments made to me over the years about when I was first running for preselection asking whether I wanted to have kids and what impact it would have.”
“There are many reasons why we struggle to attract women to a life in politics, but what woman feels encouraged when they are questioned about their ability to raise their children, or whether they can juggle both a family and represent their community?”
“Regardless of the hurdles of this environment, it’s worth it to make a difference, and I want to see more women in here challenging the stereotypes and changing the culture,” she said.