Not Now, Not Ever

Ten years on from the speech that stopped us all in our tracks – Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech. 
Where were you then? And where are we now? 

Then it was done. After staying silent, I’d had my say. At no time did I feel worked up or hotly angry. I felt strong, measured, controlled. Yet emotion did play its role in the energy of the speech. The frustration that sexism and misogyny could still be so bad in the twenty-first century. The toll of not pointing it out.

On 9 October 2012, Prime Minister Julia Gillard stood up and proceeded to make all present in Parliament House that day pay attention – and left many of them squirming in their seats. The incisive ‘misogyny speech’, as her words came to be known, challenged not only Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, on his words and actions but, over time, all of us. How had we come to condone the public and private behaviours of some very public men?

With contributions from Mary Beard, Jess Hill, Jennifer Palmieri, Katharine Murphy and members of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership, Julia Gillard explores the history and culture of misogyny, tools in the patriarchy’s toolbox, intersectionality, and gender and misogyny in the media and politics.

Kathy Lette looks at how the speech has gained a new life on TikTok, as well as inspiring other tributes and hand-made products, and we hear recollections from Wayne Swan, Anne Summers, Deborah Mailman, Cate Blanchett, Brittany Higgins and more on where they were, and how they first encountered the speech.

While behaviours may have improved since the misogyny speech, there remains a way to go and Julia Gillard explores the roadmap for the future with next-generation feminists Sally Scales, Chanel Contos and Caitlin Figueiredo to motivate us with that rallying cry: Not now, not ever!

Proceeds from the book will go to the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL).

Women & Leadership

Featuring: Jacinda Ardern, Hillary Clinton, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Theresa May, Michelle Bachelet, Joyce Banda, Erna Solberg, & Christine Lagarde. 

There was always something happening to a female prime minister or president that we thought might be the result of gender biases, but we wanted to talk it through. ‘Something is going on,’ we would mutter to each other. ‘Women leaders all seem to be facing the same kinds of problems,’ we would say. Then Hillary Clinton lost the US presidential election, and our talks took on a new earnestness.

Written by Julia Gillard and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Women and Leadership presents a lively and readable analysis of the influence of gender on women’s access to positions of leadership, the perceptions of them as leaders, the trajectory of their leadership and the circumstances in which it comes to an end. 

By presenting the lessons that can be learned from women who lead, Julia and Ngozi provide a road map of essential knowledge to inspire us all, and an action agenda for change that allows women to take control and combat gender bias.

My Story

‘I was prime minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience. Three years and three days of changing the nation. Three years and three days for you to judge.’ 

Julia Gillard’s memoir, My Story, chronicles what life was really like as Australia’s first female Prime Minister. The book details what it was like to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to international obligations and building strategic alliances for the future.

It was published by Random House Australia in September 2014.

My Story was shortlisted for the ‘2015 Biography of the Year’ award.

In June 2015 a second edition of My Story was published by Vintage Australia as a trade paperback.