Female politicians 'work harder than men', claims Australian research

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Brisbane (Australia), Nov. 6 (ANI): Research conducted in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has revealed that female politicians work harder than men, but are still judged on their appearance.

Dr. Mary Crawford, the federal member for Forde from 1987 to 1996, told a Women in Parliament conference here that women parliamentarians face "glass obstacles" of always being judged on their appearance.

This unrelenting focus had denied women MPs recognition of their true contribution to political life, Dr Crawford, of Queensland University of Technology's School of Management, said.

"My research in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States shows that women MPs spend considerably more time looking after their constituents and on constituency work than men do. Men MPs spend more time pursuing a career in self-aggrandisement, singing their own praises and ingratiating themselves with those in power to get the big jobs," news.com.au quoted Crawford, as saying.

Dr Crawford said that even though there were now four women in Federal cabinet, including Julia Gillard as Deputy Prime Minister, and Anna Bligh had become the first female Premier elected in her own right, women still faced criticism of their image rather than their performance.

"Women's appearance, hair style and clothes in parliament are valued and evaluated, instead of the work they do," she said.

"Men are traditionally valued for their competitiveness and for being seen to be strong and tough. It doesn't matter how fat, old, untidy or grubby they are." (ANI)

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