Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton. NICHOLAS KAMM

Hillary will get what Julia got: academic

A POLITICAL expert says Hillary Clinton will face similar gender problems to those Julia Gillard experienced as prime minister if she becomes president.

Yesterday Ms Clinton, former first lady and former secretary of state, announced her plan to run for president.

University of Queensland senior lecturer and women in politics expert Barbara Sullivan said America was behind Australia when it came to women in politics.

"In Queensland we have a woman premier and deputy premier as well as (many women) in parliament," she said. "In many ways, America is quite far behind in terms of representation of women in congress, particularly at executive levels."

Dr Sullivan said there had been "all sorts" of research into women's leadership styles being more co-operative. But Dr Sullivan was not a big believer that women in general had a particular style; she said you could have a female auto-cratic leader.

But one thing women in powerful positions do have in common is what they face because of their gender.

"We've seen that in relation to Julia Gillard. Being a leader makes you an abnormal woman in some societies and I think that raises all sorts of anxieties and issues.

"And I think that would also arise with Hillary Clinton."

Ms Clinton announced her intentions in a video posted on social media and her website.

The two-minute video features average Americans outlining their future hopes. More than halfway into the video, Ms Clinton appears and announces her plans to run for president.

"Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion," she says.

Dr Sullivan said the world had advanced.

"I think we've come a long way in terms of recognising the absence of women and the need for ensuring that women's voices are heard in democratic societies and looking at the reason why they're not there.

"Reasons given in the past just don't hold up anymore."