Women’s Trust Backs Gillard
5 July 2013 at 11:11 am
The Victorian Women’s Trust has gone into bat for Julia Gillard in a public denouncement of her treatment as the first Australian woman Prime Minister saying she endured a toxic and sexist political discourse over three years.
The Victorian Women's Trust has placed full-page advertisements in a number of Australian newspapers praising Gillard's achievements and slamming both Labor and the Liberal parties for their actions over her time as Prime Minister.
The women's rights group accused both the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of carrying out parallel ‘seek-and-destroy missions’ against Gillard.
The Women’s Trust described the past three years in Australian politics as extraordinary and poisonous leading to a great loss of civility and decency.
The statement, signed by the organisation’s Executive Director Mary Crooks AO and acting Convenor Diana Batzias, carries the headline “Credit Where Credit is Due”.
It said significant sections of mainstream media failed to engage in dispassionate reporting, accusing seasoned reporters of refusing to accept the legitimacy of the minority government with Gillard at the helm.
The statement said: “The ensuring toxic political discourse surrounding the Prime Minister and the minority government gave public license across the community, online and elsewhere, for an unprecedented campaign of sexist and chauvinist abuse, denigration, double standards, gross disrespect for the office of the Prime Minister and gross disrespect for her as a person.”
The Trust said while it remained ‘baffled’ at some of Gillard’s policies around asylum seekers and economic support for single parents and same-sex marriage, she displayed “an enormous capacity and style of effective leadership rarely seen in parliamentary leaders across the political spectrum”.
“The truly ugly aspect of our national life revealed by the past three years should give cause for us all to reflect on what else is required to restore and maintain respect, civility, common decency and a fair go for women – in our society and in our democratic politics.”
The Victorian Women’s Trust also thanked the “generous and thoughtful women” who provided the funds to place this statement on the public record without the privilege of tax deductibility.
Read the full statement here.