1. ITV Report

Australia's first woman prime minister ousted in party coup

Julia Gillard walks past a demolition sign during a visit Forrest Primary School in Canberra last month. Photo: Reuters

Australia's first woman prime minister, Julia Gillard, has been forced out of the job by her own party, and replaced by former prime minister Kevin Rudd almost three years to the day since she led a coup to oust him.

Fearing electoral defeat this summer, her Labour party opted for the once-popular leader Rudd who maintains the support of several key independent politicians who do not support her.

Special Correspondent Rageh Omar looks at the expressions of macho culture that undermined her premiership, and the bitter rivalry that eventually sealed her fate.

Paul Smith, president of the Australian Labour Party Abroad said she will be remembered for openly confronting the sexism of her parliament:

She was under a lot more pressure than any man has ever been in her same position.

The pressure ranged from media questions about her husband's sexuality, crude sexual references to her body, and most famously her Conservative party opponent Tony Abbott being pictured in front of a sign that read "ditch the witch."

Gillard's conservative opponent Tony Abbott. Credit: ABC/ITV News

Gillard, who has decided to quit politics following the leadership defeat, said she was proud of what she achieved as Australia's first prime minister. Speaking to reporters after the shock announcement, she appeared calm and congratulated Rudd, both her predecessor and successor.

Her voice only appeared to crack with emotion as she said:

What I am absolutely confident of is that it will be easier for the next woman, and the woman after that, and the woman after that.