Julia Gillard Essay Example

Many men and women in our community have been inspired by Jesus’ teachings to act for the common good, challenging authority. One example of a woman challenging authority from being inspired by Jesus’ teachings is Julia Gillard. Julia Gillard, the previous Prime Minister and also the first-ever woman to be elected, had challenged the status quo of Australia and the world. The accepted views and status quo of Australian society when Gillard was elected revolved around sexism. The community often disregards, dismisses and overlooks women’s opinions and voices on many occasions. Gillard’s goals as a Prime Minister were to enforce the value of equality among the community so that everyone was treated equally and no one was to be dismissed or stepped on. She wanted humanity to value togetherness, fairness, impartiality, nondiscrimination and freedom for any gender to accomplish and achieve what they desire. Gillard’s achievement as the first PM has sparked this goal through her accomplishment of standing up for herself and women against the opposition leader through her “sexism and misogyny speech” in the House of Representatives. Triggering an argument about the treatment of women in politics and overall the women in the Australian society. 

This is related to the common good because she wanted to change society's views on women to improve recognition of women’s rights and values, improving lives every day more for women. Jesus taught us that everyone was to be valued equally with respect. We see in “Acts 17:25-28 that God made all races and nations, all of us by one blood (verse 26) for His purposes.” and “Genesis 1:27 - So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” This is an example straight from the bible communicating to us that God didn’t make us all the same, he made us all different for a reason and that we should accept each other and see the beauty of God’s work in each other rather than discriminating against certain genders or races. These examples from the bible relate to the catholic social teachings of care for God’s creation, rights and responsibilities and human dignity. Care for God’s creation relates to this bible passage because Jesus is calling us to care for everyone he created because he made everyone different for a reason. Rights and responsibilities related to these two bible passages because he is communicating to us that it is our right to be respected by others and treated with fairness and our responsibility to treat others with equality. Human dignity relates to these two bible passage examples. After all, Jesus is calling us to recognise why he made us all different, recognise the values of humanity and that they are worthy of respect because they are human beings. It was a shock to the Australian community when Gillard was elected as the first-ever Prime Minister to be a woman and plenty of people had their doubts and apprehensions. She experienced and endured multiple attacks on her and her well-being through forms of sexism and bullying from a society whose views on women had not changed within the slightest. This was because people in the community such as the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, did not agree that women could accomplish as much as men could. Abbott has a great influence over the country and therefore triggering their beliefs of sexism and going against Gillard. 

Although while enduring this, Gillard exercised the skill of resilience that she acquires to move forward through all the judgement and discrimination to challenge the accepted views that the Australian culture withheld. Gillard has challenged the status quo of Australia through her accomplishments and achievements that she had accomplished and fulfilled proving to the country that women can do the greatest amount as men can. Some examples of Gillard's achievements include her dedication and commitment to women’s rights, education and mental health and well being. Her ‘Education cannot wait’ speech addressing the issues of refugees and natural disasters affecting children and communities. This program was made to strengthen education support during the crisis. As for mental health, Julia helped to spread awareness about the severity of it while donating funds from the government that would go towards those struggling with mental health. Through these accomplishments that she had achieved as Prime Minister, she has shown the country a number of her greatest attributes and traits including; intellect, passion, dedication, determination, commitment, patience etc. Society had taken notice of this and therefore encouraged them to change their views and opinions on women.

Another main example of what Gillard has done to challenge the accepted views in society during the timeline of her presidency is when she was standing up for herself and all women in Australia against the opposition leader. Many women saw her remark to Tony Abbott, the opposition leader, that “if he wanted to see what misogyny looked like, he should pick up a mirror”, as an influential moment for feminism in Australia. In this speech Gillard wasn’t only attacking Tony Abbott, she was attacking the entire history of misogyny that men have had against girls because as the discussion went; ‘And then a discussion ensues, and another person says “I want my daughter to have as much opportunity as my son.” To which the Leader of the Opposition says “Yeah, I completely agree, but what if men are by physiology or temperament, more adapted to exercise authority or to issue command?” Then ensues another discussion about women's role in modern society, and the other person participating in the discussion says “I think it's very hard to deny that there is an underrepresentation of women.”’ She doesn’t only attack Abbott in this discussion, she is attacking the issue of women’s roles in society which have stayed the same for a while. The status quo convinces them that they either belong in the kitchen or doing chores around the house while taking care of the children. This has been an issue for a while and as this quote from the speech demonstrates, addressing the whole history of misogyny. Gillard has felt the need to challenge the accepted views of civilization for she believes that a woman can be a leader just as strongly as any man could. That a woman can complete the identical tasks as men are stereotyped to achieve better than women and that women have the right to be able to speak their opinions on values and beliefs just as often as any man. After a while as a result of Gillard’s well known first-ever woman election turning point, society today has changed for the greater good. The community in the present day now values gender equality and giving women equal opportunities and possibilities as what men are granted. In conclusion, Gillard has challenged the status quo and therefore accepted the culture of Australian society and has succeeded greatly in her goals by changing society's views on gender equality.


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