Shivani Gopal

Shivani Gopal

April 14, 2021
| Womens Advocacy

Founder’s Weekly | 16th October 2020

Here's what you need to know this week on women in the world...

Fellow remarkable women,

 

This week, I’d like to talk about NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian’s relationship with disgraced former MP, Daryl Maguire and what it means for her political career.

 We’ll also take a look at the concerns around the appointment of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the next Justice of the US Supreme Court. 

Finally, I’d like you to join me in celebrating the launch of The Remarkable Woman membership site!

 

Gladys Berejiklian’s secret relationship

As many of you will know, earlier this week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian admitted to having a “close, personal relationship” with Daryl Maguire.

Why is this problematic? Because Maguire, the former member for Wagga Wagga, resigned from Parliament in 2018 in disgrace. After admission to an ICAC inquiry, it was revealed that he had sought payment for brokering a deal with a Chinese property developer.

Given that Berejiklian and Maguire’s relationship began in 2015, it is now the subject of an investigation by ICAC as to whether Maguire used his position for personal gain. What’s more, the spotlight is firmly being placed on Gladys.

Questions have arisen from both sides. Did she know about his dealings? Should she have known? Why didn’t she disclose the relationship? What does this say about her judgement?

There’s no doubt that Berejiklian has performed admirably, especially over the past 12 months. In one of our most difficult years ever, from bushfires to the pandemic, she has steered the state through the crises with fortitude and decisiveness. It’s not a question of whether Berejiklian should be permitted to have a relationship with another political figure (she absolutely can), however, her personal judgement has been thrown into question with the fact that she was in a relationship with a man at the centre of corruption investigations.

It’s true that Berejiklian may not have known what was going on. But the question is – should she have made more of an effort to know? In the ICAC hearing, various phone calls were played. In one of them, Maguire talks about how profits would help pay off his debt, to which Berejiklian responds “I don’t need to know about that bit”.

Yes, she’s only human. And yes, it could be argued that she just fell for the wrong guy. However, her judgement lapsed during a critical period and her personal life was at odds with her public responsibility. 

On a personal note, I do hope that one bad relationship does not undo years worth of good work. Love can sometimes be blind, and I just don’t want to see an incredibly capable woman pay the price for another man's sins.

 

The next Justice of the US Supreme Court

Head of the US elections, Judge Amy Coney Barrett has been nominated as the next Justice of the US Supreme Court. If she is appointed, Barrett will (at 48 years old) be the youngest justice on the highest court in America. She will also be the third female Justice, alongside Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Barrett has an impressive and capable history. She has been a professor at Notre Dame Law School in Indiana since 2002 and was appointed in 2017 by Trump to the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She was shortlisted for the Supreme Court vacancy two years ago; a position that was ultimately filled by Brett Kavanaugh.

However, Barrett’s history is also troublesome and problematic.

In 2012, Barrett signed a letter that went against a provision of the Obamacare, that would have forced insurance companies to offer coverage for contraception. In 2015, she signed a letter to the Synod on the Family which stated that the Church’s teachings on marriage and family are “founded on the indissoluble commitment of a man and a woman.” In 2016, she was a member of a “right to life” that promoted a South Bend crisis pregnancy centre that has been criticised for misleading vulnerable women who were seeking abortions and pressuring them to keep their pregnancies.

It’s a history that has sparked comments that Barrett has historically held “anti-women, anti-LGBTQ positions, which are rooted in her religion” and that she “will impose her faith on the American people”. It’s the reason Senators Hirono, Coons Blumenthal and others have expressed concern about Barrett's unwillingness to give substantive answers about climate change, voting practices and even Trump's claim about his power to pardon himself.

Supreme Court positions are lifetime appointments. Ones that will last for decades and affect policies for lifetimes to come. If Barrett succeeds, the Supreme Court will have a Republican majority, which could mean dangerous things for people of colour, LGBTQ communities and women across America.

 

We’ve launched Signature Membership, our exclusive membership Site!

I’m so excited to announce that The Remarkable Woman has launched our Signature Membership site!

It’s been a long journey – one that started 6 years ago when I realised that I wanted to empower women to achieve the career, business or lives of their dreams. Everything I’ve done since then has been a step towards achieving this goal. From undertaking my MBA and learning about leadership to attending start-up competitions, pitching nights and founding two of my own businesses – everything I’ve done has been with the goal of helping women like you grow.

Going through this process has not been cheap - in fact, it's cost tens and tens of thousand dollars - but that's how strong my commitment is to supporting women and empowering them personally, professionally and financially. It’s been a life-changing experience for me because I truly want to give a life-changing experience to all my members.

So if you're a woman who wants more out of life, who wants to have greater confidence, career success, business skills, public speaking chops, or financial literacy, I invite you to join me on this journey and become a Founding Member. You can find out more and do so here!

No matter what your goal - whether you want to work towards that promotion, learn new skills, write that book or start your own business - we can help you achieve it. We’ll help you get ahead with the right mentors, courses, accountability partners, support and a great community network of your peers.

And, with your membership, you will help us advocate for gender equality for the future, fund our Equality 2050 school campaign, facilitate gender-equal, and so much more.

I do hope you join me on this journey of empowerment, by taking the step to invest in you.

I am thankful for your support, and I can't wait to have you as a Founding Member on this journey with me!

Until next week,

Shivani

 

 

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