Australia split over PM's sexism judgment

2012-10-30 12:07
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Canberra — A poll shows that Australians appear to be split over Prime Minister Julia Gillard's judgment that her main political rival is sexist.

Gillard's fiery speech to Parliament on 9 October in which she branded opposition leader Tony Abbott a misogynist for a string of allegedly sexist comments has been lauded by feminists around the world.

Abbott apologised last week for suggesting that Gillard's government was inexperienced in family policy — a criticism some saw as a cheap shot at Gillard, who has no children.

A poll by Sydney market researcher Newspoll published on Tuesday in The Australian newspaper found that 45% of respondents said Abbott had behaved in a sexist way toward Gillard recently and 39% said he had not. There was no clear majority view, with 16% of respondents undecided.

How Abbott was judged on the sexism charge closely correlated with how respondents intend to vote at general elections next year.

Of those who said Abbott is sexist, 66% support Gillard's centre-left Labor Party. Of those who said he is not, 76% back his conservative coalition.

The poll was based on a random telephone survey of 1 218 voters nationwide at the weekend. It had a 3 percentage point margin of error.

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Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia  |  gender equality
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