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Gillard's threat warning to public women

AAP logoAAP 12/10/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

Threats of abuse towards female politicians are "just not on", government minister Mitch Fifield says, after Julia Gillard warned some women in public life have to deal with almost daily rape threats.

The former prime minister, speaking at a memorial service for British MP Jo Cox, said threats of violence have become increasingly prevalent for women in public life.

Ms Cox was shot and stabbed to death in her constituency in northern England earlier this year.

"'As a woman in public life, the violent threats take on another sickening dimension," Ms Gillard told the London gathering.

"Threats of violent abuse, of rape, are far too common. A woman in public view may expect to receive them almost daily."

Responding to the comments, cabinet minister Mitch Fifield said there was no place for personal abuse or threats based on gender.

"Whether they be in public office or whether they'd be people considering public office," he told ABC radio on Wednesday.

"It's just not on."

Ms Gillard also used the speech to discuss how female politicians were treated differently in the public eye.

For some it was impossible to win on the question of family.

"If you do not have children then you are characterised as out of touch with 'mainstream lives'.

"If you do have children then, heavens, who is looking after them?"

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