As the leaders of the G7 meet, former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard is drawing the world’s attention to the global education crisis exacerbated by the lockdown. As board chair of the Global Partnership for Education, she is pushing world leaders to bring quality education to all children. Gillard, whose 2012 anti-misogyny speech in Parliament was voted the most unforgettable Australian TV moment, joined Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to share her thoughts on how world leaders can plan for a post-COVID-19 world, why girls are at risk of being shut out of schools, and why it should matter to the United States and the rest of the world.

Highlights

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard says she got the sense from a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that “there would be a focus on girls education” during the G7. “Each of the leaders at the G7 has felt very strongly the importance of collaborating and getting economic growth,” Gillard said. She added that one key to economic growth is investing in girls and their education. (Washington Post Live)
Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard says 1.6 billion children were out of school during the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But she says as classrooms reopened, “most marginalized children didn’t make it back to school, particularly the girls." (Washington Post Live)
Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard says she thinks allies and friends of the U.S. are concerned with the hyper partisanship and would like to see the country be more “unified and able to get big things done.” “I think around the world people still worry about U.S. politics, the hyper partisanship in the U.S., the seeming continuing inability of Congress to come together, even over national interest goals.” (Washington Post Live)

Julia Gillard

Provided by the Global Partnership for Education.

Julia Gillard joined the Global Partnership for Education as chair of the Board of Directors in 2014 after a distinguished public service career in Australia. Following her passion for education, she was appointed a Commissioner at the International Commission for Global Education Opportunity in 2015 and became Patron at CAMFED, the Campaign for Female Education, in 2016. She is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution.

Ms. Gillard served as Prime Minister of Australia between 2010 and 2013 and delivered nation-changing policies including reforming Australia’s education at every level from early childhood to university education, improving the provision and sustainability of health care, aged care and dental care, commencing Australia’s first ever national scheme to care for people with disabilities.

Before becoming Prime Minister, Ms. Gillard was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion. From 2003 to 2006, Ms. Gillard served as Shadow Minister for Health followed in 2006 by an appointment as Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations and Social Inclusion.

Ms. Gillard is the first woman to ever serve as Australia’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In October 2012, Ms Gillard received worldwide attention for her speech in Parliament on the treatment of women in professional and public life.

In recognition of her remarkable achievements and public service, Ms Gillard was awarded a Companion in the Order of Australia in January 2017.

In June 2018, the Board of Directors unanimously approved the extension of Ms. Gillard’s term as Board Chair until 2021.