Following the leadership spill and her resignation from her role long-serving role as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop has broken her silence, slamming the lack of female representation in Australian politics and condemning the actions that led to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's oust.
Bishop, who was the first Australian woman in the portfolio, opened up at the Australian Women’s Weekly Women of the Future awards last night, saying, "It is not acceptable for us to have in 2018 to have less than 25 per cent of our parliamentarians as female."
"It is not acceptable for our party to contribute to a fall in Australia’s ratings from 15th in the world in terms of female parliamentary representatives in 1999, to 50th today," Bishop continues, per the Australian Financial Review.
"I have seen and witnessed some appalling behaviour, that in a law firm I would never have accepted but in Parliament, it’s the norm," Bishop says, calling for a “much broader debate about workplace culture” including “allegations of bullying, harassment and coercion and the unequal treatment of women.”
"We must defend and strengthen our institutions, and we must treat our Parliament with more respect. Unacceptable workplace practices are the responsibility of us all to identify, to stop it, to fix it."
Bishop has been hailed as a trailblazer and role model for women around the world. Marie Claire readers expressed their disappointment in the result of the lib spill on Instagram with one person writing: "Her elegance and formidable presence and style as Foreign Minister will be so greatly missed. Thank you for all you did in your role for Australia and the women who admired you @juliebishopmp."
"Only admiration, respect and gratitude for this incredibly intelligent, poised and accomplished woman in Australian politics. I hope we haven’t lost you forever @juliebishopmp," another commented.