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
Sue Webeck, manager of The Australian National University’s (ANU) newly set-up Respectful Relationships Unit, describes the university’s approach in responding to the issues raised in the Human Right’s Commission’s ‘Change the Course Report: National Report on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Australian Universities’ in 2017, and the challenges involved in creating systemic change while responding to the ongoing needs of survivors.Read More
In this article originally appearing in the UK edition of The Conversation, Gillian McNaull examines the increasing numbers of women in UK prisons, not for crimes of violence but typically for crimes of survival. Her research mirrors the Australian experience where many women, particularly Aboriginal women, are imprisoned for unpaid fines necessitating the important work, for example, of Sisters Inside founders Debbie Kilroy and 2019 Miles Franklin Literary Award winner, Melissa Lucashenko.Read More
As the NSW parliament prepares for the introduction of a bill to decriminalise abortion in that State, Ashlee Gore writes that many believe abortion is already legal and freely available in NSW, and that while decriminalisation will be important for women’s choice and autonomy, there will remain many other medical, social and interpersonal barriers that restrict the exercise of this autonomy after the law has changed.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. This piece by Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) and Policy Whisperer Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (@GoodAdvocacy) explores how financial hardship and stress contribute to poor mental health, drawing on case studies and reflections from practitioners in Good Shepherd services. This is the third in a 4-part series based on Good Shepherd’s submission; Part 1 provides an overview of the gendered nature of mental health, while Part 2 discusses the related issue of economic inequality.Read More
Recent research published by Melbourne Law School offers new insight into the contrasting circumstances of men and women in bankruptcy. In it, Lucinda O’Brien, Professor Ian Ramsay and Associate Professor Paul Ali, each from Melbourne Law School find that public data does not fully reflect the differences between men and women in the bankruptcy system, or the extent to which women’s bankruptcies are caused by gender-specific factors.Read More
Last week the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System held its first public hearings. The Royal Commission is an opportunity to consider the social and economic factors that contribute to poor mental health using a gender lens. With significant investment in men’s mental health in recent years, it is timely to switch focus and consider women’s experiences and how the mental health service system and other institutions are responding to their needs. Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) and Susan Maury (@SusanMaury) of @GoodAdvocacy summarise some of the gender differences in prevalence, diagnosis and treatment in the first of a four part series.Read More
There is currently an unprecedented interest at both Federal and State levels to address family violence in a holistic and meaningful way. In today’s analysis, Sophie Yates (@DrSophieYates) of UNSW Canberra (@PSResearchG) shares her insights into the various ways that practitioners in the family violence sector talk about gender and how their various conceptions of the term impact on their practice. The article she published on this topic recently netted her the inaugural Rosemary O’Leary Prize for outstanding scholarship on women in public administration. This piece was originally published in the LSE Engenderings blog under the title “Big G and small g: Understanding gender and its relationship to family violence.”Read More
The University of Queensland’s Romy Listo reports on the United Nations 63rd Commission on the Status of Women held 11-23 March in New York. She draws attention to the commitment on Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) which is supported by Australian delegates. Despite support for these commitments by the Federal Government, in practice the actual implementation of CSE by Australian states and territories does not meet the inclusive and expansive ideals being championed. Investment and strategies are needed to bring the right to CSE into Australian classrooms.Read More
This week the Minister for Women Kelly O’Dwyer introduced the inaugural Women’s Economic Security Statement, saying “When women do well, their families do well, and our economy and nation prospers.” Arguments that link gender equality with family wellbeing and the national interest are gaining traction, but how well does the Statement and the supporting package of $109 million over four years actually support women’s economic participation and wellbeing? Sarah Squire (@SquireSarah) of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand (@GoodAdvocacy) unpack the details behind Pillar One – Workforce Participation.Read More
Unpaid work, part-time and interrupted work, and the gender pay gap are only some of the reasons women are poor in retirement. A lot of the time the reasons are far more complex.Read More
As the Liberal Party in Canberra debates whether to opt for targets or quotas to boost the number of seats held by women, and the Labor Party proposed public disclosure of gender pay gaps in workplaces over 1000 people, in Victoria last weekend a Citizens’ Jury quietly endorsed gender quotas for senior roles in the public service. The full juror’s report is available in this article.Read More
The tenth anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires is fast approaching. This is a useful time for further analysis of what happened during one of the worst peacetime disasters in Australia’s history, and to reflect on what has changed since, particularly in terms of policy and safety approaches. Dr Meagan Tyler (@DrMeaganTyler) and Dr Ben Reynolds argue that thinking about how gendered expectations and assumptions have affected both policy and practice in this space can be a useful way forward.Read More
Women face specific challenges when it comes to managing money. They tend to spend more time out of the paid workforce to care for others and this impacts on their ability to generate wealth. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is aiming to address this issue by normalising conversations about money. Check out these interviews where ASIC’s Laura Higgins chats with five influential and inspirational Australian women about their experiences with money.Read More
Melbourne was in shock following the rape and murder of well-loved comedian Eurydice Dixon on the 12 June 2018 as she was walking home from a comedy event. A vigil was held near where Eurydice Dixon died in Princess Park the following week and was attended by the over 10,000 people. Following the vigil, Julie Kun, CEO of WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange Inc), wrote the following article, posted on WIRE’s Facebook page and reposted with permission here.
Julie Kun is the CEO of WIRE, the only Victoria-wide free generalist information, support and referral service run by women for women.Read More
The theme for this year's NAIDOC Week, held from 8-15 July 2018, was "Because of her, we can". In the following article, republished from IndigenousX with permission, Antoniette Braybrook calls for the ongoing celebration and acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, who work tirelessly for the community, and whose views and experiences are often invisible to policy-makers. Antoinette Braybrook is the CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria) and the National Convenor of the National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services Forum. She also tweets @BraybrookARead More
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.Read More
The Education Equity Coalition, under the auspices of VCOSS, has recently launched the Stronger Schools campaign. This coalition comprises a range of social service, youth, and education agencies, and has collaborated to create an action plan for inclusive education. The eight components that make up the platform are designed to address holistic, comprehensive support that will support all children and young people to stay engaged in education.
For girls and young women, there are often unique challenges to school engagement. While they tend to overall be more engaged and receive better grades than boys and young men, research indicates that their wellbeing is plummeting – including reductions in physical, emotional and mental health outcomes. Recent research into supporting the ‘middle years’ finds that key components to supporting girls and young women in this age group is to increase their agency, and to treat them with respect. This includes providing accessible and reliable information on a range of tricky topics, some of which (such as sexting) were not issues for previous generations.
Today’s blog, written by Maddy Crehan (@Maddy_Crehan) at the Victorian Women’s Trust (@VicWomensTrust), highlights an innovative program that seeks to address this challenging terrain by providing teachers with lesson plans for tackling such issues as healthy relationships, creating and sustaining positive friendships, looking after mental health, and ethical consumerism. Known as Rosie in the Classroom (@RosieRespect), this educational resource kit supports best practice in the classroom, stemming from a foundation of equality and empowerment.Read More
A new model of service delivery developed by WEstjustice in partnership with McAuley Community Services for Women is improving the financial security of family violence victim/survivors. In this post Stephanie Tonkin of WEstjustice discusses the extraordinary results being achieved through the Restoring Financial Safety project and recommendations for future policy action.Read More