If anyone would have an intimate working knowledge of the litany of horrible shit that women forging a career in politics has to face, it’d be Julia Gillard.

The trailblazing former Prime Minister set the political world ablaze with her now-famous fiery “Misogyny” speech against then-opposition leader Tony Abbott‘s bullish and ethically shifty verbal tactics displayed in the lower house.

Since leaving Australian Parliament, Gillard has been travelling the world, partnering with a number of globally notable, women-focused initiatives; using her considerable profile to both impart her experience and knowledge, and empower women to pursue high-profile careers like politics.

However, Gillard is not exactly pulling any punches when describing the experience of a woman in the political world.

In fact, at a recent address in London, Gillard issued a blunt assessment of the job, and a stern warning of the abhorrent and disgusting any woman should expect to encounter whilst forging a career in politics.

The address, delivered in memory of UK MP Jo Cox, who was tragically and senseless murdered whilst campaigning in her constituency back in June, detailed the sexist and often violent behaviour exhibited towards politicians like herself and Cox, whose death, Gillard noted, she had been “particularly shaken” by.

“Standing at street stalls and giving out pamphlets at train stations they asked themselves for the first time ever — ‘are we safe?'”

Gillard noted that it was the anonymity afforded to people by social media and the internet writ large which is contributing greatly to an ever-worsening culture of abuse towards public figures.

“Threats of violence have become more prevalent for women in public life. Once upon a time, to criticise a public figure, you generally had to put your name to that criticism.”

But it was Gillard’s assessment that threats of death or sexual violence being levelled at women in public life are not only common place, but that women entering the sphere should expect to encounter them on an almost-daily basis.

“[Threats] can take the form of detailed death threats, or threats of violence against family, friends and staff. And of course, as a woman in public life, the violent threats take on another sickening dimension. Threats of violent abuse, of rape, are far too common. A woman in public view may expect to receive them almost daily.”

Gillard stated that, as a woman in politics, there is simply no way to win on the subject of family when it comes to questioning from male counterparts.

“If you are a woman politician, it is impossible to win on the question of family. If you do not have children then you are characterised as out of touch with ‘mainstream lives’. If you do have children then, heavens, who is looking after them?”

“I had already been chided by a senior conservative senator for being ‘deliberately barren’.”

Bloody hell.

If ever you needed a quick refresher of the sheer fire Gillard had within her during her run as PM, it’s probably right now.

It doesn’t matter what your personal opinion of her politics is, we absolutely need more women like her in our Parliament.

Source: ABC News.

Photo: Jessica Hromas/Getty.