Australia: Gillard to the Liberals: here's how you do gender equality

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December 11, 2018

Australia: Gillard to the Liberals: here's how you do gender equality

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Julia Gillard, former prime minister, first ever woman prime minister of Australia, and member of a party with nearly 50 per cent representation in the parliamentary Labor Party has some advice for the Liberal Party.

Not that she’d characterise it as advice for the party she hopes will soon be in opposition. Why give them the benefit of her expertise? Nevertheless, she explained to a packed gathering in Sydney yesterday exactly how the Labor Party went about getting near equal representation.

Gillard was there to introduce Elise Delpiano, the winner of the inaugural Next Generation Julia Gillard AC scholarship, organised through the Emily’s List network. Delpiano has spent the last six months getting her head around what challenges women face in order to fully participate in politics, interviewing politicians in Australian and New Zealand. The about-to-be lawyer says there urgently needs to be a revision into the processes for getting women into Cabinet. It needs to be on merit.

But years ago, Gillard was having her own battles and on Thursday, she took us back to the mid 1990s. The difference in gender representation between the two major parties wasn’t actually that big then. Liberal and Labor were neck and neck, ALP was at 14.5 per cent and the Libs at13.9 per cent. Close run thing.

Click here to read the full article published by The Sidney Morning Herald on 6 September 2018.

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