Unlike new Australian PM Harriet Harman fights for women

I would recommend you read this post on the New Statesman Staggers blog about the new Australian Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

There have, of course, been the inevitable comparisons between Julia Gillard and Harriet Harman.  Both are female lawyers and both have been Deputies, though I would point out that Harriet was never Deputy Prime Minister as was Gillard.  Harriet was Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, a position to which she was elected by Labour Party members and affiliated organisations.

The really important part of the Alyssa McDonald’s Staggers piece comes towards the end:

“Politically, there’s a glaring difference between Gillard and Harman. One has fought consistently for a feminist agenda, while the other has approached her political career with individualistic ambition. Not to do Gillard down — she’s very good at her job and she deserves her success — but her premiership isn’t necessarily any more of a great lunge forward for women than Margaret Thatcher’s was thirty years ago.

Meanwhile, Harman’s drive to push issues such as rape laws and the Equality Bill into the spotlight has undoubtedly been good for British women — and a huge contibuting factor to her unlovely public image.

Gillard’s success is still a symbolic step forward, signalling that the presence of women in Australian politics has become normal. And it looks likely to be good news for the country as a whole. But it’s not as if Australian women now have a Harman at the top to look out for their interests.”

 

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3 Comments

Filed under Labour Party

3 responses to “Unlike new Australian PM Harriet Harman fights for women

  1. I find Alyssa McDonald’s piece surprisingly black-and-white. Does Gillard’s work for example complement the work of other women public figures?

    I feel for example my main contributions in politics are economic and educational and feel no real aptitude for green issues, but I do not think that makes me less green.

    A comparison with Helen Clark?e of New zealand might have been interesting. I believe that Clarke like Gillard had no children, and had similar stick.

  2. Daniel Oxley

    Mary, On the subject of succesful women I noticed that in your section about Women in Power the link to information about Marta Andreason is broken. It might be my PC which has been temperamental recently but the links to the other politicians did work.

  3. Daniel Oxley

    Mary, Thank you for your speedy repair to the link to information about Marta Andreason.

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