Earlier this year, Labor women from across the country met in Queensland to discuss policy issues and progressive reforms for the country. It’s amazing what gets done in a bloke-free environment. Commitments to equal pay, a care economy, gay marriage and a carbon price -- every one of these progressive reforms passed with barely a whisper of dissent on the floor. A far cry from the, at times, rancorous debate and tight votes on some of these issues at the ALP national conference on the weekend.
In the past 72 hours we have seen a lot of Labor women leaders. Julia, Penny and Tanya took to the stage with a flair many of their male colleagues failed to match. Jenny McCallister, newly re-elected national president, marshalled delegates with professionalism and discipline while Louise Tarrant, Michele O’Neil and Nadine Flood, female federal trade union leaders all, spoke with passion about their members, calling on their parliamentary colleagues to stay true to the party platform.