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Neil Mitchell debates political sexism with WIRE deputy CEO Julie Kun

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Was Julia Gillard the victim of political sexism?

The former prime minister delivered a speech yesterday about gender inequality and the ‘unconscious bias’ towards female leaders at a lecture in Adelaide.

Quoting ANZ research she’s been involved in, Ms Gillard said female graduates were paid four per cent less than their male counterparts with the same qualifications.

Neil Mitchell questioned Women’s Information Referral Exchange (WIRE) deputy CEO Julie Kun whether Australia was an inherently sexist country.

‘Definitely there is sexism in our society,’ she said.

Neil Mitchell disagreed that female political figures were still unfairly judged due to their gender.

Ms Kun said Paul Keating was celebrated for his abrasive and sometimes rude manner in parliament, while Ms Gillard was criticised for her aggressive approach.

But Neil Mitchell said Ms Gillard’s infamous misogyny speech directed at then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was one of the ‘most disgusting things’ he’d seen.

‘That was one of the best things I’d seen,’ Ms Kun said.

‘To use a football analogy, I don’t think (Tony Abbott) played the ball, I think he played the woman.’

To contact WIRE’s women’s support line for free support, information and programs for Victorian women, call 1300 134 130 or visit

LISTEN: Neil Mitchell and WIRE deputy CEO disagree on 3AW Mornings