Julia Gillard Says That Female Politicians Should Be Prepared For Violent Threats “Almost Daily”


Julia Gillard

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Julia Gillard has warned aspiring female politicians to steel themselves for threats of violent abuse, rape and murder, while speaking about the sexism and misogyny she faced on a regular basis while serving as Prime Minister.

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“Threats of violence have become more prevalent for women in public life,” said Gillard. “They can take the form of detailed death threats, or threats of violence against family, friends and staff. And of course, as a woman in public life, the violent threats take on another sickening dimension. Threats of violent abuse, of rape, are far too common. A woman in public view may expect to receive them almost daily.”

Gillard was delivering a keynote address at an event in London held in the memory of MP Joe Cox, who was gunned down in her constituency near Leeds during the midst of the Brexit campaign. The former Prime Minster said that Cox’s murder had an impact on women running for office in Australia.

“Standing at street stalls and giving out pamphlets at train stations they asked themselves for the first time ever — ‘are we safe?’,” Gillard said. She also spoke about the sexist commentary that dogged her during her time in office.

“If you are a woman politician, it is impossible to win on the question of family,” she said. “If you do not have children then you are characterised as out of touch with ‘mainstream lives’. If you do have children then, heavens, who is looking after them?”

Gillard’s remarks come on the back of comments made last week in which she criticised the gendered attacks on Hillary Clinton.

h/t ABC