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UNSW Press UNSW Press

Gender Politics

Navigating Political Leadership in Australia

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Gender is a powerful force that shapes Australia’s political leadership.

Gender impacts the politics, government and policies of our nation. It influences the public lives of all political leaders. It affects how they interact with political institutions and cultures, with each other and how they are treated by the media. It can also shape who we see as strong and capable leaders.

Yet, there is a lack of diversity in leadership positions across the political system, and accusations of bullying and a toxic culture in our political parties are rife. So what impact does this have upon how Australia is governed and what might be done about it?

From the debates on gender quotas to the ‘bonk ban’, from Julie Bishop’s failed leadership bid to Scott Morrison’s cultivated ‘daggy dad’ persona, from the treatment and legacy of Australia’s first female prime minister to the machinations of our political parties and parliament, this book explores the subtle and overt operation of gender politics in Australia.

Gender Politics is a provocative and urgent collection that re-examines the way we navigate power and leadership in Australian politics.

'Breaking the code of silence inside our parliament and political parties is essential to fixing a system that for far too long has allowed a culture of disrespect, harassment and sexist bullying and abuse against women to fester. This treatment of women has been used to keep us quiet and out of the way – well, not anymore. At a time when many women are fighting to have their voices heard in Australian politics, this is a timely and important read.' — Sarah Hanson-Young

'It has been near impossible for women in public life – especially politics – to escape the double standards and ridiculous stereotypes. This book exposes these age-old obstacles and propels us to fast-track change.' — Natasha Stott Despoja AO