As a spectator to the dramas of Australian politics and public perception of high-achieving women on both sides of the political system, it’s very easy to start to believe that sexism and the gender divide within politics is a problem unique to Australia.
A recent article in The Guardian however, proves that the gender divide is still negatively affecting the experiences of female politicians around the world. Some of these women’s experiences include:
- South Africa’s Lindiwe Mazibuko was once asked to “explain to this house what she has done to her hair”
- Italy’s Laura Boldrini receives hate mail, including photos of her face superimposed onto the body of a woman being raped
- The UK’s Stella Creasy and Louise Mensch both receiving rape threats and pornographic images
- Afghanistan’s Fawzia Koofi whose very role in public life as a politician is in danger because of the Taliban presence in the country
- Turkey’s Safak Pavey who’s fighting to oppose recent plans to curb female liberties around abortions, caesareans, the wearing of headscarfs, and more.
In Australia, the frequent comments about personal aspects of former Prime Minister Gillard, as well as the recent speculations about the suitability of Minister Plibersek as Party Leader given her role as a mother, as well as many other comments, combine to create a hostile environment for any woman currently in politics, or wanting to make their way into politics.
Orijen is currently working on developing a program in conjunction with Women For Election Ireland to help to break down some of these barriers.
To express your interest in either participating or contributing to the soon-to-be-launched Women for Election Australia, please fill in the form below.