Former Australian PM Julia Gillard: Women Need to Call Out Sexism

April 22, 2016, 2:30 PM UTC
Former Australian Prime Minister and Chairman of GlobalPartnership of Education Julia Gillard Interview
Photograph by Michael Nagle—Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard may not be in politics anymore, but she is encouraging women to throw their hats in the ring and run for office. Gillard spoke to the Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Wednesday afternoon and had high praise for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, noting that she’s very well regarded in Australia.

Gillard also talked about her famous misogyny speech, and why she said what she said. “I felt an increasing sense of calling, having put up with so much, and I would not be lectured on sexism.” The former prime minister said misogyny is often a go-to weapon when politicians are trying to make a point about something else. She added that standards have to be raised and the message sent that using misogyny has to come at a cost.

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She urged women faced with sexism to “call it out early” when it happens, and if possible, “have others call it out.” She said don’t wait and think that it will go away if it’s ignored.

For more on Julia Gillard, check out this Fortune video:

Gillard is currently the board chair of the Global Partnership for Education and stressed the importance of education, particularly for girls and young women.

“We have seen in our world the shooting of Malala [Yousafzai] by the Taliban, the kidnapping of girls by Boko Haram,” she said. “We need to ask: Why is education a target?” The answer, said Gillard, is that terrorists understand education’s power.

Watch a video of the CSIS event here.

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