Gillard PM: is gender irrelevant now?
“NATION wakes to a new dawn” was one of the headlines late last week suggesting that Australia had entered a new era when Julia Gillard became prime minister. But some commentators were quick to assure us of the opposite: that having a woman as PM means that gender is irrelevant in Australian politics and that women are already well-represented in political leadership roles.
So which is it? To begin with, we need to be clear about what’s being compared with what. The lists of “women leaders” used in media coverage over the past few days appear to come from American sources that treat anyone who is called “president” as if they are an executive president and head of government as well as a head of state. The Sydney Morning Herald, for example, published a graphic showing eighteen current “women leaders around the world,” which included…
Photo of Mari Kiviniemi, Finland’s second woman prime minister by Paloneva