Julia Gillard has spoken out about her biggest regret during her term as Australia’s first female Prime Minister.

During her time in the role Julia Gillard was subject to blatant sexist attacks from people such as Tony Abbott, who allegedly made speeches in front of placards saying ‘Ditch the B***h, and Alan Jones who said she should be put in a bag and thrown out to sea.

In a new interview with The Times Gillard said she made a mistake during her run by not acknowledging that being elected Australia’s first female prime minister was a landmark moment for the country. She believes that by speaking out about the sexism she faced, she could have helped others.

“I should have recognised that if I didn’t deal with it up front, it would build,” she said.

“In the early press conference I should have pulled up journalists and said ‘you never would have said that about a male prime minister.”

Gillard now believes that if she had spoken out about the occasion it might have emboldened women, particularly female commentators to condemn the misogyny thrown at her. she made headlines in 2012 when she stood up in parliament and gave a speech on sexism and misogyny.

In the speech, she addressed Tony Abbot saying “If he wants to know what misogyny looks like in modern Australia, he doesn’t need a motion … he needs a mirror.”

There is a long way to go for equality in politics though, not just in Australia but right around the world.

“There are elements of this in the treatment of women right around the world and we have yet to see it fully playing out in the context of the US presidential contest. But last time, when Hilary (Clinton) was against Barack Obama for the primary… there were things that were 100 per cent about gender,” Gillard said.

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