Because it’s so difficult to balance work and kids.
Because it’s just not everyone’s cup of tea.
These are among the reasons women don’t run for local government, according to some of those who are running.
This week, the deadline came and went for people to nominate as candidates for the local government elections which take place around Victoria on October 27.
The race is now on, and it’s candidate against candidate, but there was a brief moment of solidarity among the seven women candidates as they gathered on the Town Hall steps to acknowledge that, as women, they have long been in the minority when it comes to elections.
Karen Corr, who is also, at 36, the youngest of the candidates, said she only decided to run for election when she had weighed up in her own mind the question, “Is it worth it, what difference can be made?
“Having diversity on council is really important, not just in terms of gender, but cultural diversity too,” Ms Corr said.
“I wouldn’t want to be chosen because of my gender,” she said, a comment echoed by several of the other candidates.
“But I do support women and those who want to make a difference.”
Elise Chapman said women are perhaps less ready to “put yourself out there”, lacking the self belief that is important in public life.
“I wouldn’t want to play the gender card,” she said, “but it would be nice to have more than one female on council.
“Some women are just too busy, some may see council as being male dominated and that may discourage them, some may not be able to commit to four years, and some are just private people.
“Some may be just scared to fail, but all this aside, we have a great number of women running this year.”
Wendy Radford said women, like men, run for council because they want to make a difference, but it’s important for women to be there so they can represent a different approach.
“The white, middle-aged, male, old boys’ club … tends to dominate decision-making organisations of all kinds in this country, be that parliament or board rooms,” Ms Radford said.
She said women are less likely to “risk public exposure” than men, perhaps because women are more scrutinised and criticised than men.
“No only will women be scrutinised for their policies but also for their manner and appearance,” Ms Radford said.
“We are sensitive to this and it puts us off.”
She said she would like women to know that their life experiences make them “just as capable, if not more so, than most males”.
Helen Leach, too, said “gender is immaterial”, and rejected the idea of quotas to improve ratios of women in government.
“Some people choose not to stand because they are already committed - to work, study or family,” Ms Leach said.
“Quite rightly, family often takes priority.”
Elaine Harrington, who had a stint on council back in 2003, said that while it is an individual decision and her love of being active in the community led her to run again, she does understand that some women may see council as a “male domain”.
“I have to admit when I first started on council in 2003 the men were sometimes oblivious to me and did not give me the opportunity to talk freely as they were able to.
“On occasions I felt patronised, but I truly believe none of it was deliberate.
“It was men behaving like men in a natural setting they were very familiar with.”