2013/11: Is Australian politics prejudiced against women?

Introduction to the media issue

Video clip at right:
On June 26, 2013, Prime Minster Julia Gillard announced that she had been removed from her party’s leadership and was about to relinquish the prime ministership. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.

What they said...
'Being the first female prime minister does not explain everything about my prime ministership nor does it explain nothing ... it explains some things...'
Former Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, speaking on the night of June 26, 2013, after her party deposed her as leader

'Gillard being a "whore" - dressed up and presenting herself to attract votes....
For every vote she wins she gets $2.51 from the AEC for her party ... the "whore" tag is appropriate and truthful...'

Harry's Growl by Harry Hound-dog, published on the anonymous political commentary site, The Eye-Ball Opinion, on June 25, 2013

The issue at a glance
On June 26, 2013, the Caucus of the Australian Labor Party replaced Julia Gillard as the Party's leader. Gillard thus lost the prime ministership to her successor, Kevin Rudd. This ended the tenure of Australia's first female prime minister.
Many of the events that occurred during Julia Gillard's time as prime minister have focussed debate on how women are treated within Australian politics and on the extent to which they are accepted as leaders by the electorate.
There are those who maintain that there is nothing remarkable about Gillard's treatment - that her unpopularity was a consequence of her unsuccessful policies and that the criticism she received was no different in kind from that endured by other political leaders. Those holding this view argue that the very fact Julia Gillard became prime minister is proof that Australian politics is not prejudiced against women.
Others argue that the personal abuse directed at Julia Gillard was unprecedented, substantially based on gender and is reflective of the Australian political system's rejection of women as leaders and of its prejudiced treatment of women more generally.