Female Politicians Put Aside Differences To Celebrate Berejiklian
Though first and foremost a win for the Liberal Party, Gladys Berejiklian's victory in Saturday's NSW Election is being marked as win also for women.
Berejiklian made history last night as the first woman to be popularly elected premier in NSW, taking the Liberal government into its third term.
From across political divides, fellow female politicians extended their congratulations.
Former prime minister Julia Gillard was among the first to celebrate the news, despite heading the Labor party while in politics.
"In a world of far too few women leaders, I congratulate @GladysB on being the first woman to win a NSW state election," Gillard said on Twitter.
Gillard's 15-minute speech addressing misogyny in the Australian parliament more than eight years ago -- specifically calling out then-leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott -- made headlines across the world.
NSW Labor frontbencher Jodi McKay also took the time to hail the result as a step forward for women.
"I think the fact that she's been able to be the first elected female premier of NSW, every woman in this state should be feeling pretty pleased about that," Mckay said during the ABC's election night broadcast.
Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young -- who has become a prominent voice on gender equality in Australian politics -- was quick to celebrate her Liberal colleague's win.
"Congratulations to @GladysB," she said.
"First women elected to Premier of NSW is no small feat. The more women we have in politics across all parties the better our democracy and parliaments will be. Working across party lines to make the political culture more respectful must be a priority."
Hanson-Young took a strong-willed stand against workplace sexism last year following "reprehensible" comments made about her by Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm.
"This is an opportunity to fix this, to clean up the parliament and to make sure that it is a safe place for women," she said at the time.
“The last thing I want to see out of this would be less women going into politics.”
Berejiklian's win comes at a time where the issue of women in politics is in sharp focus -- arguably nowhere more so than within her own party.
Liberal MP Julia Banks dramatically defected from the Liberal Party in November to sit on the crossbench, describing the treatment of women in Parliament as "years behind" the business world.
"As a Liberal Party, we just need to accept that we have some areas that we are not doing great, and one of those areas is just about women in leadership," she said during a scathing statement in parliament.
The NSW Premier follows Queensland's Annastacia Palaszczuk, who became the first popularly elected female premier in her own state in 2017.
With most of the votes counted on Saturday night, the coalition had 46 seats - 34 for the Liberals and 12 for the Nationals.
Labor held 35, well short of the 47 seats needed to form a majority government.