Women in politics in Australia: WEL, feminists, misogyny and Julia Gillard #IAWMel

I attended two events of which the Women´s Electoral Lobby (WEL) was one of the organizers. The first was the International Meeting of the International Alliance of Women in Melbourne and the second was when WEL NSW celebrated 40 years in Sydney. WEL is a national, independent, non-party political, feminist lobby group. 
The most interesting speeches were about first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard in Australia: the way she was treated, her 'Gillard labels Abbot a misogynist' speech in parliament - which has more than 2 million views at YouTube - and feminists. Misogyny is a synonym for sexism. 

1. Speech Clare Wright

Quotes out of the speech ´Gender and power in Australia: The world is watching´ by Dr. Clare Wright delivered to #IAWMel 11/10/12. She is a feminist historian who produced the beautiful one-hour documentary Utopia Girls about how (white) women got the right to vote and stand for Parliament in Australia in 1902.



´´Julia Gillard herself delivered a blistering attack on the Federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, labeling him a misogynist and forensically dissecting his appalling track record of sexist comments in parliament and elsewhere. 

This is the moment that so many of us have been waiting for. Gillard is a smart, tough, canny, intelligent woman ... 


This week, she seems to have said, ‘Bugger it. Enough’s enough’ and adopted the activist logic of Anne Summers, who earlier this month, in her well-publicised expose of the sexist barrage of abuse hurled at Gillard on a daily basis in the online and commercial media, challenged us all to say ‘It stops with me’. This week, it stopped with the Prime Minister, and some would argue it’s the first time that she has shown the moral compass of true leadership. ...
The full 15-minute speech has been downloaded from YouTube a staggering 400,000 times. According to the ABC’s website, overnight ‘Gillard’ was one of the world’s top trending words on Twitter, ‘her Question Time tirade’ making headlines in the US, Britain, India, South Africa and Canada.``


2. Speech Melanie Fernandez 

Quotes out of the speech by Melanie Fernandez WEL NSW Convenor 19/10/12 when WEL NSW celebrated 40 years in Sydney.
 Half of this WEL Executive are women under 30!
´´When Julia Gillard became our Prime Minister I was pretty much as excited as you would expect a feminist to be. But somewhere between intense discussions of the Prime Minister’s marital status and lack of children and the ditch the witch signs I started to realise just how far we have not come. I asked myself would a man have been asked that? Would a man have had that said about them?
It was great to see a woman in position of Prime Minister – but frankly it felt pretty awful to see her treated that way. It brought into sharp focus the persistent sexism in our culture.
Then the Prime Minister made THAT speech. It was the culmination of all the treatment she experienced and that women around the country have watched with growing horror. THAT speech actually saw Julia Gillard’s Prime Ministership do what I never expected it to do: smash the equality myth.
The myth that young women were sold growing up – that we have achieved equality; that we are living in a post-feminist era where all the battles for gender equity have been won.
THAT speech told a different story. Yes, Australia can have a female Prime Minister, but it won’t treat her the same way as it has treated generations of male Prime Ministers. She will have to withstand more personal and vitriolic abuse, and be held to different standards. Men and women are not treated equally – not yet anyway.
Now more and more women are saying that they have had enough.``


In do not know recent speeches and events attacking so outspoken sexism in political life in the Netherlands and connecting feminists and history! Do you?

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