Julia Gillard- The First Female Prime Minister of Australia

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Julia Gillard

On 24th June in 2010 Julia Gillard created history by becoming the first female Prime Minister of Australia. She was the 27th Prime Minister of Australia and the leader of Australian Labour Party. She was also the first woman to hold the office of leader of that party. Drawn into politics from early age, Julia Gillard has been the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in 2007 and also headed ministerial offices like Ministry of Education, Ministry of Employment and Work Place Relations and Ministry of Social Inclusion. She was the only woman in Australia to be the Deputy Prime Minister, Prime Minister and the Leader of a Political Party.

Here, we discuss

  • Early Life of Julia Gillard
  • Julia Gillard in Politics
  • First Female Prime Ministers Across the world

Let’s get started…

Early Life of Julia Gillard

  •  Julia Gillard was born in Wales, UK. Her parents migrated from the city to Australia post World War II, as Britannica mentions.
  • She was raised in Adelaide in a middle class household. She studies in University of Melbourne and got her degree in Law and Arts.
  • She was an active member of student government during her college days. During that time she also started practicing under a law firm in Melbourne.

Julia Gillard in Politics

  • Julia Gillard started her political career by being elected first into House of Representatives in the year 1998 through federal elections. And gradually she became the member of Shadow Cabinet and also the Leader of Opposition Party.
  • After all this Julia Gillard became the first woman Deputy Prime Minister of Australia in the year 2007.
  • On 24th June 2010 Julia became the first woman Prime Minister of Australia after Kevin Rudd lost support of his party. She was unanimously replaced as the first woman Prime Minister of Australia.
  • She rose to global fame after her scintillating speech on denouncing misogyny publicly as mentioned in Britannica. After merely a month into being the Prime Minister Julia called for a election to be held. Though it was a easy victory it was her last.
  • She lost the leadership back to Kevin Rudd in the year 2010 due to hung parliament, the first since 1940, as a report from Telegraph claimed. After her stint as a first prominent woman political leader who headed various ministries; she resigned from active politics 2013 just before the elections that year.
  • After announcing her retirement she was taken as honorary visiting professor of University of Adelaide.
  • She has also been on the board of mental health organisation Beyond Blue. Later she published a memoir on her political career called ‘My Story’. Her shrewd leadership capabilities and her negotiating skills were widely appreciated.
  • The compromise agreement she negotiated with the mining companies that reduced the tax from 40 to 30 percent was one the most path breaking events in her term.

First Female Prime Ministers Across the World

Sirimavo Badaranaike

  • She was the first woman Prime Ministers in the modern world. She was elected in as on in the year 1960.
  • She was elected thrice as the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. Born in an aristocratic Kandyan family apart from being first female Prime Minister she was the world’s first non-hereditary Prime Minister as mentioned in a report by India Today

Indira Gandhi

  • She was the first female Prime Minister of India and central figure of Indian National Congress.
  • She was elected as member of Rajya Sabha in 1964 and after that she headed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting during the time of Lal Bahadhur Shastry.
  • She was democratically elected thrice and became the longest serving Prime Minister after Nehru.

Margret Thatcher

  • She was the first woman Prime Minister of UK and also the longest serving Prime Minister in the 20th century.
  • Her policies were called Thatcherism. She first sworn in as Prime Minister in the year 1979.
  • She kick started her political career in 1959 by being elected as the Member of Parliament for Finchley.
  • Her economic policies were intended to undo rampant unemployment and other British problems.

Benazir Bhutto

  • She was the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • She first sworn in as Prime Minister in the year 1988.
  • She was also the first democratically elected woman President in a Muslim majority nation.
  • She was ideologically a secularist and a liberal. She was assassinated in the year 2007.

The entire list of above mentioned women have been first Prime Ministers of the respective countries and have excelled in their leadership activities. Though most countries have had women Prime Ministers it is still a political position which is dominated by men across the world. Very few women could manage to make it to that place. Only one in every country was elected as a Prime Minister in the modern world.

The Final Thought

One of the recent Prime Ministers being Julia Gillard is an astounding event not just in Australia but across the world. She stood up for equality, women empowerment and laid new paths for women of Australia.

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