Australian PM's sexism speech sparks divisive reaction
SYDNEY (AFP) - A blistering attack by Prime Minister Julia Gillard labelling Australia's opposition leader a misogynist has gained global attention, but sparked a divisive reaction about her judgement and the role of sexism in politics.
Ms Gillard, the nation's first woman leader, lashed out on Tuesday at Mr Tony Abbott after he called for the removal of parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper for lurid text messages he sent to a former staffer, which referenced female genitalia.
Mr Slipper, who stood aside in April amid claims of gay sex harassment, survived an opposition motion to dump him with the support of Ms Gillard and her ruling Labour party, but later resigned.
During the debate, a fired-up Ms Gillard accused Mr Abbott of hypocrisy and sexism.