"We're going backwards": Julia Gillard speaks out about the gender gap in parliament

It’s been a hot topic in parliament this week, and someone who knows all too well about the gender gap has spoken up.

Our former prime minister Julia Gillard says she believes Australia has gone backwards as other nations have closed the gender gap in terms of representation of women in parliament, and that the issue must be continued to be addressed by both Labor and Liberal.

There’s now pressure from female government MPs for the Liberal party to increase their female numbers to 50 per cent by 2025 after it was revealed just how many men there are on the front line – 75 per cent.

At the launch of the ANZ Women’s Initiative, a program aimed at closing the gender gap in the workplace, Gillard said female representation in Australian parliaments had declined since she was in office.

“We’ve gone backwards as other nations have gone ahead,” Gillard said.

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“So when you compare Australia with other countries, Australia has declined in the rankings for women in parliament from 20th in the world in 2001 to 48th in 2014″.

“I do note that these statistics particularly point to insufficient numbers of women on the conservative side of politics and that must be addressed even as my own political party seeks to do more and get better and better”, Ms Gillard said.

Julie Bishop had some more curt things to say on the matter, and remained realistic about achieving equality in parliament.


“Why not aim for 50% if it’s to be truly representative?” she asked. “I don’t think setting quotas that are abandoned when it doesn’t suit male union bosses to take a seat should be necessarily the answer.”

Tell us, do you think that parliament will have more women as the years go by? Is it truly appealing to be a woman in government?