JULIA GILLARD cited her single, childless and atheistic status as an obstacle with which she has had to contend while urging the business community not to write off her or her government.
The speech to a private fund-raising function in Sydney last week was attended by members of her cabinet and the business and industry community.
According to people at the function, held at Pyrmont on Thursday night, a candid Ms Gillard regaled guests with a joke she often shares with the US President, Barack Obama, when they meet and discuss the prejudices they experience.
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''I tell him, 'you think it's tough being African-American? Try being me. Try being an atheist, childless, single woman as prime minister'.''