The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty is preparing a report on the human rights impact of the introduction of digital technologies in social security systems. The Human Rights Law Centre made a submission to the Special Rapporteur focusing on Australia’s social security system and how technology is increasingly being used to target and punish people, especially single mothers, through programs like ParentsNext. Monique Hurley (@monique_hurley) from the Human Rights Law Centre (@RightsAgenda) summarises their submission, focusing on the gendered impacts. The full submission is available here. More information about the Special Rapporteur’s report is available here.Read More
A ground-breaking faith-based program in the Pacific seems to be having significant, and hopefully longer-term, impacts on men’s violence and abuse, with several important lessons for similar programs elsewhere, writes Miranda Forsyth, ANU Pacific Institute Convener and Associate Professor at ANU’s School of Regulation and Global Governance.Read More
The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System provides an opportunity to consider the social and economic factors that contribute to poor mental health using a gender lens. Today’s analysis, by Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) and Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (@GoodAdvocacy), provides an overview of how rigid gender stereotyping creates a cascade effect of experiences that compromise women’s and girls’ mental health. This is the fourth in a 4-part series based on Good Shepherd’s submission; Part 1 provides an overview of the gendered nature of mental health, Part 2 discusses the related issue of economic inequality, and Part 3 examines the influence of financial hardship.Read More
While the Australian Public Service is showing signs of greater gender equality, what can it do to further progress this agenda?
In this feature originally published in The Mandarin, UNSW Canberra’s Dr Sue Williamson outlines some of the key elements and tactics to bring about a more gender-equal public workforce.Read More
Last week was NAIDOC week - a week set aside for non-Indigenous Australians to “increase [their]awareness… of the status and treatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.” Today’s post, by Zuleyka Zevallos (@othersociology) shares her listening and learning to the unjust experiences of Indigenous women in the criminal justice system. This piece first appeared at Other Sociologist.Read More
This blog is the second in a four-part series on women’s mental health. As the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System continues its public hearings there is an opportunity to consider the social and economic factors that contribute to poor mental health using a gender lens. This piece by Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) and Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of @GoodAdvocacy explores how economic inequality contributes to poor mental health among women, drawing on reflections from practitioners in Good Shepherd services. You can read the first in this series here.Read More
The Coalition’s purported ‘woman problem’ haunted this year’s federal election campaign, despite the party’s ultimate electoral success. Sue Williamson (@SWilliamsonUNSW) from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra argues the Coalition adopts a neoliberal or individualised approach to gender equality – while some positive initiatives have been introduced, these do not address the systemic issues that cause women’s disadvantage. (Reposted from The Conversation)Read More
The third iteration of the global report The State of the World’s Fathers was launched on 16 June, at the Women Deliver Global Conference in Vancouver, Canada. The bi-annual report highlights progress and gaps for equalising care in 7 OECD countries, as well as analysis from five countries in the Global South. The report importantly also tracks changes in attitudes and social norms. Today’s analysis provides a summary of the report, an initiative of the MenCare Campaign (@MenCareGlobal), which is led by Promundo (@Promundo-US). Australia is in dire need of more progressive policies that enable men to take an active role in parenting and caring; this global overview provides important insights for how it can be done well.Read More
There has been much lament over the discarding of Australia’s Women’s Budget Statement as part of the budgeting process, and reinstating this process was one of Labor’s promises should they have won the election. While this is an absolutely critical document, there is an upstream problem that also needs addressing - data collection. The data which is collected and analysed is often itself subject to gender bias, resulting in huge gaps in our understanding of how policies effect women.
Today’s analysis looks at the problem of women’s invisibility in data sets using the example of transportation policy. Transport policy researcher Nicole Badstuber (@NicoleBadstuber) has written an explosive piece that resonated strongly with readers in the U.K. but also hit a nerve with Australians, as evidenced by a viral tweet on the piece from Per Capita’s Abigail Lewis. This piece originally appeared in London Reconnections and can be viewed in its original format here.Read More
The Coalition government has had a long-term focus on moving women into paid employment through increasing Welfare to Work requirements and keeping the Newstart Allowance artificially low. However, many women are unable to participate in employment due to caring duties. For some women this career break is a temporary one as children age and become less dependent, but others are looking after family members or others who have a disability or a chronic condition. In today’s piece, Melanie Zeppel (@MelanieZeppel) of GenIMPACT at Macquarie University shares findings from co-authored research on the economic analysis of the cost of caring, which overwhelmingly impacts on women.Read More
With the federal election campaign in its final days, people are heading to polling booths to vote in Australia’s next government. In today’s federal election piece, Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@susanmaury) and Laura Vidal (@lauraemilyvidal), both of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, break down the Government and Australian Labor Party’s policies for women on improving economic security, providing both a comparison between the platforms and commentary on how the plans fall short. Today’s piece on economic security is the first in a two-part series.Read More
The Australian Labor Party recently released a National Gender Equality Strategy, including a record $660 million commitment to end violence against women. As part of our special federal election series Labor’s Shadow Minister for Women, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow Minister for Education and Training and Member for Sydney Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) provides an overview of Labor’s policy commitments. We extended an invitation to all of the major parties; you can read the Greens platform here.Read More
The Greens recently released a women’s equality policy and a policy for closing the gender wage gap, including a commitment to bring back the Women’s Budget Impact Statement. As part of our special federal election series Greens spokesperson for women, Co-Deputy Leader and Senator for Queensland Larissa Waters (@larissawaters) provides an overview of key commitments across six policy domains.Read More
During election season, and too often throughout the year, Australians are particularly focused on how government policy impacts on home ground - but Australia’s regional role in promoting gender equality and reducing poverty should also be a core consideration for voters. Years of cuts to what was already a modest aid budget is having a negative impact on women who are already in tough situations. While the government says it is prioritising gender equality measures, in today’s contribution to the federal election series Roslyn Dundas (@RoslynDundas) of Care Australia, and Caroline Lambert (@DocLambertSays), Alice Ridge (@AliceJaneRidge) and Elena Robertson, all of International Women’s Development Agency argue that women’s needs are not compartmentalised. This analysis draws on their report entitled ‘From rhetoric to reality: towards a feminist foreign policy’. This piece originally appeared on the DevPolicy blog.Read More
In the run-up to the federal election, it behoves one to consider how major party platforms will impact on quality of life – both immediate changes and those that are felt over many years. Since the scrapping of the women’s budget, the National Foundation for Australian Women (@NFAWomen) have mustered a team of academics, policy and content specialists who volunteer their time to provide approximately 40 separate policy analyses on proposed budget measures and election platforms. In today’s post, a summary of major themes drawn from the Liberal Party’s budget documents is provided, covering revenue, climate change and health, housing, social services, education and training, employment, health, violence against women and children, energy, infrastructure and international aid. Following each summary statement, links are provided to the specific analyses that are included.
The NFAW also conveniently provides summary information for differing cohorts of women, including young women, older women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, Migrant and refugee women, and Women with disabilities. Further, there is an analysis of the machineries of government – how women are included or excluded within the policy process itself.Read More
It can be argued that time is the crucial element in securing gender equality. Women work longer hours than men, but most of these hours are unpaid. Meanwhile, men spend increasingly long hours at work, resulting in promotions and pay rises unrelated to productivity or competence. In today’s federal election series, Sara Charlesworth of RMIT (@RMITCPOW) shares an overview of the Australian Work + Family Roundtable’s election benchmarks, which provides an evidence-based framework for addressing the root causes of inequalities.Read More
With the Coalition’s ‘woman problem’, representation of women in Australia’s Parliament has been at the forefront. While Labor has a self-imposed gender quota (see page 6) that means women are at near-parity in Parliamentary representation at 46.3 per cent, the Liberals are at 22.9 per cent (percentages calculated in January 2019). With an overall female representation in Parliament of 33.2 per cent, here’s the question: does representation matter? One way to answer this is to look to countries which have a quota system, to identify any changes to policymaking. In today's analysis, Quentin Lippmann of the Paris School of Economics provides evidence from France. This summary draws on Quentin’s presentation at the Australian Gender Economics Workshop in February of this year; his full presentation notes can be found here.Read More
In today’s post, Dr Simone Casey takes a close look at the underpinnings of ParentsNext, a widely-criticised program that aims to encourage eligible parents to plan and prepare for employment by the time their children start school. Dr Casey is an Associate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute and this post draws on her research into resistance in employment services and the construct of the welfare subjectRead More
Tonight the Coalition Government will be releasing its budget just weeks prior to the federal election. The Women’s Policy Action Tank will be running a special series which focuses on the election. In today’s analysis, Tanja Kovac (@TanjaKovac) of Per Capita (@PerCapita) explains how the elimination of the Women’s Budget Statement has led to a long decline in women’s security that cannot be offset by short-term election promises. This piece was originally published in Women’s Agenda and can be viewed in its original format here.Read More
If we believe in a society that is just and equitable, and where the rule of law is both respected and effective in maintaining such a society, then our criminal justice system is failing us in achieving these aims. In today’s post, Helen Forster of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand proposes basic principles for addressing shortcomings in how the criminal justice system interacts with women, and proposes that innovative health justice partnerships offer a promising corrective.Read More