Australian Ex-PM Sees Bright Future For Female Politicians

"We will over time be treating women and men far more equally," says Julia Gillard

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ROB BLAKERS / EPA

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard inspects the burnt remains of the Dunally school in southeast Tasmania, Australia, Jan. 7 2013.

Julia Gillard is optimistic about the future of women in politics, despite the sexism she endured as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

Gillard, who was called a “nonproductive old cow” by opposition leaders and who was asked on the radio if her male partner was gay, told the BBC Tuesday she thought it would get “easier and easier” for women in politics. “It’s all part of a journey where we will over time be treating women and men far more equally,” she said.

The former PM gave a famous speech condemning the misogyny of her political opposition in 2012, that got over 2 million views on Youtube.

“There’s a lot of common experience from women leaders about the neverending focus on appearance and how that distracts from trying to get the job of leadership,” she said. “People are too interested in the handbag and not what you’re saying.”

Gillard refused to speculate about whether Hillary Clinton would run for President, saying she preferred to wait until Clinton herself had made up her mind. “Does she have the capacity to be a tremendous leader? Of course she does,” she said.

The former PM was ousted last year, but she’s starting a new job as┬áchair of the Board of Directors at the Global Partnership for Education in Washington D.C.

[BBC]