If you thought Julia Gillard’s days of fighting for women’s rights were behind her, you’re wrong. Instead, she’s now commanding a global stage with some strong allies.
Our former prime minister has joined America’s first lady Michelle Obama and UN Messenger of Peace Charlize Theron to create a panel discussion about “The Power of an Educated Girl”.
More: Michelle Obama’s 62 Million Girls campaign
At the event, Gillard was introduced as a “fierce” feminist, with the audience reminded of her now infamous misogyny speech that was directed to the then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Her experience at the top, where she became the target of many “haters”, led to her sharing some advice to the mostly female audience about ignoring online bullies, according to Daily Mail.
“We live in a world of instantaneous feedback and often it’s instantaneous criticism. You don’t have to be in a publicly exposed profession like politics to feel the sting of that”, she said.
“Some of the poison that goes across social media after midnight, when people have had a drink or two, that stuff is not constructive criticism. Just forget about it, don’t let it get into your head, don’t let it get inside you, so build that sense of self”.
However, the 54-year-old wasn’t done there. Glamour magazine, who hosted the event, also revealed that she discussed the importance of educating girls, particularly as part of her new role as the Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, an organisation dedicated to ensuring every child receives basic education, particularly those in developing and conflict-affected areas.
“I know education has made my life. So, I’m passionate about ensuring every girl around the world has the same opportunities”, said the former Labor leader.
“There is so much we need to do for the 62 million girls”, the former PM said. “Your voices are very strong. Direct them to world leaders. What you should say to those leaders is that it costs, on average, $1.18 to educate a girl in a developing country in primary or secondary school each day. Developing countries are already financing this cost at 88 percent — which means that [they need] 14 cents for each of these girls each day. That’s got to be doable”.
However, if the importance of the night could be summed up in one phrase, this honour would have to go to the Hollywood star on the panel, Charlize Theron, who declared that, “Education shouldn’t be left up to the lottery of geography or gender”.