Women of the Year

Julia Gillard gives her verdict on Hillary Clinton’s loss at Cosmo’s Women of the Year Awards

Australia’s first – and only – female Prime Minister on her friend Hillary's shock defeat.

By Lorna Gray and Mel Evans

Cosmo's Women of the Year Awards 2016 is currently in full swing and special guest Julia Gillard has just walked the red carpet.

We, of course, had to ask her what she thought of the U.S. election, given her relationship with Hillary Clinton and the fact she was our first - and only - female Prime Minister.

"I was very sad not to see Hillary Clinton elected. I’m a very big fan and obviously I’m very committed to seeing women in power and women’s empowerment and I really wanted there to be a message from the United States of America that any office in the world, including president of the United States can be held by a woman. But we will get there. Not this time but sometime in the future.

I’ll certainly be sharing my commiserations and I know Hillary Clinton. She’s a tenacious person. She’s a very strong person so yes there’ll have to be some time to rest and recuperate and I know she will continue to pursue the causes she believes in so passionately – and many we share."

Hear, hear.

She also had this call to arms for women around the world:

"I think right around the world women are now pushing to make sure we’re truly equal. In our nation and in the United States of America, so much has already changed for women. I mean, the very fact that I could be Prime Minister is an example of that. But we’ve got to do the rest of the journey and that does mean seeing women Presidents and Prime Ministers right around the world."

"I’m absolutely sure, it’ll be so common for a woman to become Prime Minister here or to be leading in other nations that we don’t even bother talking about it anymore so yes, I want to see the next generation of women getting right in there, so please do. Don’t be deterred.

It’s fantastic on a day like this [Cosmo Women of the Year Awards 2016], the day after the result in the U.S., to be with friends and to be celebrating the achievements of fun and fearless women."

And for people who think sexism didn't play any part whatsoever in the U.S. election, please ask why Trump goaded Clinton about the infidelity of her husband and called her a 'nasty woman'? We personally feel Hillary devoted her life to public service yet was still deemed too shrill, too tough, not warm enough, not fun enough.

If anyone can empathise with that, it's Julia Gillard.