Julia Gillard is demanding a permanent end to misogyny and wants us to think big “to forever change our nation”.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, the former Prime Minister evoked the #MeToo slogan, “We come in peace, but we mean business”.
Noting the current rage felt my so many Australian women, Gillard argues there is now a more appropriate slogan:
“We come in anger and we demand action.”
Awe and Sadness
Gillard says she has felt both awe and sadness over recent revelations of violent, sexist and misogynistic conduct in Parliament House.
Awe for the courage of people like Brittany Higgins, and sadness because of the pain experienced by so many.
“In the middle of these up and downs, I have been sustained by the feeling that I am one of many.
“Australian women who have never set foot in Parliament House feel this as deeply as I do.
“Tens of thousands have marched in the street.”
Julia Gillard is demanding end to misogyny
The former Prime Minister identifies three areas to improve.
Firstly, she wants Australia to move into the top 10 in the World Economic Forum rankings for gender equality by 2030.
In the most recent report, Australia has dropped from 44 to 50.
Meanwhile, New Zealand moved up two places and is now Number 4 in the world.
“No one should be satisfied with this result and it is now time to declare as a national goal that in 2030, we will be in the top 10 on that ranking,” Gillard writes.
“That might sound ambitious but if New Zealand can do it, then surely we can.”
Secondly, Gillard wants every political party to ensure 50 percent of their representatives in Parliament are women.
She notes the Labor Party has already achieved this, and now wants the government to do the same.
“Of course, on its own, more women being elected does not solve every gender inequality, but it does change internal power dynamics,” she writes.
Finally, Gillard wants every woman who works in Parliament House to be safe.
To ensure this, she is calling for a clear code of conduct and effective processes to handle sexual harassment complaints.
She notes the current appetite for change and the positive response the [email protected] Sexual Harassment Report.
“Now is the time to harness and accelerate this momentum by working together with urgency and ambition to deliver all the bold reforms needed,” she said.
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