Wales politics

Julia Gillard: Abuse of women online 'disproportionate'

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Media captionFormer Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard visited her former street in Barry

Women are disproportionately targeted for abuse online, former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said on a visit to Wales.

She met First Minister Mark Drakeford to discuss his commitment to lead what he describes as a "feminist government".

Ms Gillard has previously spoken about the level of sexist abuse she received as Australia's first female PM.

She was born in Wales and led Australia for three years until 2013.

Image caption Former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard was born in Wales

"There is absolutely no doubt that women who are in the public eye receive more criticism and much more scribed criticism through social media than men do," said Ms Gillard, who is now chairwoman of the Global Institute for Women's Leadership at King's College London.

"Now you never want to be heard to say that means men tend to receive no criticism. I'm sure there are Welsh members of parliament and members of parliament in Westminster who are men who look down at their social media feed and see disgraceful things.

"But the evidence would tell us that it's disproportionately women who are targeted."

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Media captionIn 2018, Julia Gillard told the BBC she had been "surprised" by sexism in Australian politics

Barry-born Ms Gillard also said she was impressed with the work being done in Wales to improve gender equality but said she looked forward to seeing promises turned into action.

"Wales is very unusual to have a majority female cabinet," she said.

"The government is thinking very deeply and very innovatively about what more can be done to tackle gender equality in Welsh society."

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