The non-partisan lobby group WomenVote, started by three high-powered female lawyers, will use the bright pink bus to travel to electorates to talk to women about what matters to them in the federal election.
On board for its inaugural bus trip on Wednesday were the three leading candidates in the Wentworth electorate- independent MP Kerryn Phelps, Liberal hopeful Dave Sharma and Labor’s Tim Murray.
The WomenVote bus, which in another life is a party bus, ferried the candidates, all wearing a customary touch of pink, to the produce and flower markets at Moore Park for coffee with the locals.
It will target another high profile seat when it make its way north on Sunday to Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah.
The group hope to meet Mr Abbott, as well as independent candidate Zali Steggall and Alice Thompson, who is running in the neighbouring seat of Mackellar.
One of the group’s founders, Sera Mirzabegian, a barrister, said the group had five key areas it wanted to focus on. On their list are the representation of women in the public and private sectors, workforce participation, financial security, violence against women and health and reproductive rights.
“The idea is to take the pink bus and get a little bit of attention and give women the chance to engage with us and talk about what policies matter to them,” Ms Mirzabegian said.
Ms Mirzabegian said they would compile a scorecard to evaluate party policies against their five key topic areas, to be released in the final week of the campaign.
The pink bus coincides with the release of the group’s polling, which showed that large majorities of voters have strong positions on a range of women’s issues they believe are not being tackled by politicians.
The survey of 1065 voters, split almost evenly between men and women, showed that 71 per cent of people polled believe the government should be doing more to address the gender pay gap and 86 per cent said that government should do more to counter violence against women.
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