As the State’s second female Premier is sworn in, it would be nice to think that history will judge her for her merits and achievements.
Sadly, it is a certainty that she will also be judged on her dress sense, her shoes, her hair, her marital status and her personal life.
Anything she does will be filtered through the lens of gender, and she will endure the much harsher scrutiny applied to women in the public eye.
The State’s first female Premier, Kristina Keneally, has already protested about being asked to give Gladys Berejiklian advice.
Was Barry O’Farrell asked by the media to offerMike Baird advice?
No, and the advice sought from Keneally wouldnot be about policy or leadership, but about survivingas a female leader in the male-dominated world of politics.
A question that in 2017 should not need to be asked.
But as Keneally points out, the new Premier is taking office at a time when a sexual predator is the US president.
Just this weekend gone, women in cities all over the world took to the streets to protest against Donald Trump’s draconian and offensive attitude towards women.
In Australia not so long ago,wehad a female Prime Ministerwhowas hounded and harassed by misogynist commentators.
While no leader is perfect, the hatred stirred up by some sections of the media overshadowed Julia Gillard’s achievements.
Gladys Berejiklian’s experienceand background should all bode well for a successful term as Premier.
The child of immigrants, her father was a boilermaker who worked on the Sydney Opera House and her mother was a nurse.
When she started kindergarten, she couldn’t speak English.
Her background is close to that of average Australians from diverse, working class backgrounds.
Like most of us, her story is an economicworldaway from the likes of theTrumps and Turnbulls.
She has already outlined public education and housing affordability as two key platforms.
In her own words:“I’m not going to judge anybody on their personal circumstances. I’m here to govern for everybody. And I hope that people judge me on my merits and on what I can do.”
In a country that prides itself on a“fair go”, let’s hope we can offer GladysBerejiklian this simple courtesy.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net….