To discuss Julia Gillard’s time as prime minister, and to look more broadly at women with power in politics and public life, Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft is joined by two formidable guests, Gold Walkley Award-winning journalist and former state government minister Mary Delahunty, author of the recently released Gravity: Inside the PM’s office during her last year and final days, and bestselling author and journalist Anne Summers AO.
Two years ago, for a small window of time, Australia had a female prime minister, attorney-general, governor-general, finance minister and four other senior ministers. Today there is just one woman in the federal cabinet – foreign minister Julie Bishop – and when she is away, there are none.
How is this possible in a modern representative democracy? What did we learn about the treatment of women in Australian public life from the rise and fall of Julia Gillard? And what is the personal cost for women in politics?