Posts tagged care work
Feminist theory and Australia’s care and support sector

Australian policymakers will need to take critical action in response to the care crisis revealed by coverage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the lead up to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Laura Davy (@LauraKDavy) from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra, discusses how feminist ethics and feminist economics can inform workforce investment strategies into the future.

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Taking the pulse on men’s parenting and care work: The State of the World’s Fathers

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.

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Thanks for asking… Mothers say ParentsNext puts parents last

With the outcome of the recent federal election, the Coalition’s ‘pre-employment’ program known as ParentsNext looks set to continue indefinitely. While a recent Senate Inquiry found the program to be deeply flawed and often harmful to participants, the program is not without its defenders. In today’s piece, Ella Buckland (@EllaNBuckland), who has become a strong advocate for women who are enrolled and is leading a petition to have the program made voluntary, writes about her own experiences and those of other mothers who are on the program in an effort to set the record straight on the program’s merits.

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Caring comes at a cost. How about supporting systems that allow carers to work?

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.

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Time to work and time to care: Policy levers to enable gender equality

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.

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Caught up in CDP’s punitive web: what remote women have to win (or lose) on May 18

Few Australians experience more pain from government policy than Indigenous populations, and too often it is Indigenous women who bear the brunt. In today’s federal election piece, Zoe Staines (@Zoettes) of The University of Queensland places a gender lens over the troubling Welfare to Work remote community incarnation known as the Community Development Programme, and explains how it differentially disadvantages women.

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Childcare dreaming: a vision for early childhood care

Childcare policy is always fraught, because so many people want it to be better, but everyone has their own ideas about what is needed. Yarrow Andrew, who worked for 15 years in long day childcare as an educator, before beginning a research career investigating early childhood education gives us some ideas about how to reform the sector.

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Women and unpaid care

Women provide the lion’s share of unpaid work. In Australia, it is estimated that women spend an average of 64% of their ‘work’ time in an unpaid capacity, while for men the average is much lower, at 36%. In today’s analysis, Amy Webster of Women’s Health Victoria (@WHVictoria) provides a summary of how unpaid care negatively impacts on women, and how multiple identities, including single parent status, having a disability, and women from CALD backgrounds, add complexity to care work. This analysis is a summary of the recently-released Spotlight on Women and unpaid care

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When it comes to childcare, grandparents are the least stressful option for mum and dad

As any mother or father will tell you, being a parent is hard. Being successful at it is highly dependent on the personal and material resources of parents, and the emotional, mental and physical needs of children. There is a culture of expectation around parents, especially mothers, to be “good” parents, regardless of their children’s needs or challenges. Some people find parenting very stressful, which can cause a form of psychological strain known as parenting stress. In this post, Brendan Churchill and Lyn Craig from the University of Melbourne, discuss parenting stress and what reduces it.

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‘You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone’: The implications of expanding the use of robots in care services

An ANZSOG-funded research project is exploring the increasing use of robots in care services to replace or complement the roles of humans. In this article, researchers Helen Dickinson, Nicole Carey, Catherine Smith and Gemma Carey explore some of the long-term implications for governments from the rise of robots.

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When volunteering isn’t valued: Welfare to Work and mutual obligation requirements

Previously we have published 2 blogs (here and here) written by Juanita McLaren, a student intern with the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.  As a part of her research, Juanita is interviewing single mothers who are registered with the JobActive (Welfare to Work) scheme.  Here Juanita relates “Gloria’s” (not her real name) story, who simultaneously won a community award for her volunteerism while also failing to adhere to Centrelink’s requirements for volunteer service. 

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Can Dads be flexible too? Gendered risks and gendered opportunities to reduce work-family conflict

Women, work, and raising children is an oft-visited topic. But what about the men? In today’s post, Amanda Cooklin from LaTrobe University’s Transition to Contemporary Parenthood Program, shares recent research into how policy can better help fathers manage work-family conflict.

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Supporting carers: political discourse limits women's options at every turn

Australia’s approach to supporting carers reflects a judgment on parenting vs other kinds of caring, which has led to a punitive approach to supporting single parents, usually mothers. In no way does caring support provide the flexibility most carers – primarily women –  would like for active participation in formal employment. Today’s policy analysis examines how caring policies could be reconfigured to provide more support for the lived realities of all carers while also interrogating the negative discourse around parenting roles. 

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Critical policies for women

In this post, Dr Anu Mundkur, Dr Bina Fernandez and Ms Kara Beavis analyse the policies of the three major political parties in three key areas that impact women’s social, economic and political status – women’s unpaid care work, violence against women, and women’s representation in decision-making.  Scoring the parties on a scale of 0–4 (where 0 = very low confidence and 4 = very high confidence), their overall scorecard has the ALP ahead in addressing women’s unpaid care work, the Greens ahead in addressing violence against women and women’s representation in decision-making, and the Coalition lagging in all three areas.

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Women’s Policy Action Tank: Workplace policies must change to reflect 21st century realities

There are so many policies that intersect at the level of the family, which either enable or create barriers to active workforce participation while also ensuring family needs are met.  Today’s Scorecard summarises what the major issues are for families, gender equity in the workforce, an ageing population, and carer duties.  This synopsis is backed by a comprehensive document created by the Work + Family Policy Roundtable, comprised of over 30 academics from 16 research institutions.  This analysis was first published in The Sydney Morning Herald on 30 May, 2016.  

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