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
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
A scathing critique of the NSW government's push for the adoption of children in out-of-home care and a call for positive alternatives from Sharynne Hamilton, Ngunnawal woman and UWA doctoral candidate.Read More
Perceptions of both the fairness and impacts of gender equality measures can help to either promote greater equity or, conversely, create barriers to their uptake. In today’s post, Pia Rowe of University of Canberra’s 50/50 by 2030 Foundation shares highlights from their recently-released report From Girls to Men: Social Attitudes to Gender Equality in Austria (co-authored with Mark Evans, Virginia Haussegger and Max Halupka).Read More
Australia has many documented barriers to achieving gender parity in the workplace, and while a statistical overview of the pay and superannuation gap, differences in part-time and full-time positions held, and/or the percent of women in senior management or board positions is a good dashboard indicator, the most revealing view is to examine how things sit for women who face multiple barriers to achieving workplace equity. In today’s importance analysis, Catherine Hemingway (@cathehemingway) of WEstjustice (@WesternCLC) shares findings from her Not Just Work report, which explores the high levels of discriminatory actions that recently-arrived women experience in their work places.Read More
We spend a lot of time as a local, national and global community considering the wellbeing of children and what is in ‘the best interest of the child’ when they are at risk of abuse and neglect. We spend much less time considering the rights and responsibilities of parents and other family members who have children in the care of child protection services. It is time for a Charter of Rights for Parents and Families, argues Sharynne Hamilton from the Telethon Kids Institute at the University of Western Australia.Read More
Will it soon be possible to outsource our caring responsibilities for ourselves, our children and our parents to robots? Catherine Smith and Helen Dickinson ask what the human rights, privacy, equity and practical implications for care would be in a tech-dominated future.Read More
At the moment, the Australian Government is examining modern slavery and developing a comprehensive response to how it presents in Australia. In today’s analysis, Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs and Laura Vidal of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand explore the opportunities this presents for creating a more effective response to instances of forced and child marriage. This article is an edited extract of a keynote presentation given at a ‘Good Conversations’ event hosted by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand at Melbourne Town Hall on 7 June 2018.Read More
One in five girls globally is married before her 18th birthday, representing 650 million girls. While this number is high, it has dropped significantly in the past 10 years, when the ratio was one in four. This is a serious breach of human rights – one that extends to within the borders of Australia.
Recently the largest-ever gathering on child marriage was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—The Global Meeting of Girls Not Brides: Global Partnership to End Child Marriage (The Global Meeting). 500 delegates from over 70 countries joined together over three days to connect, learn and strategise toward a common goal: allowing every girl, everywhere, to fulfil her potential. Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand’s Laura Vidal was the only delegate to participate from Australia and shares some of her insights.Read More
This week has seen a significant milestone in the fight against modern slavery as the Modern Slavery Bill was introduced into the Australian parliament. When passed, the law will require companies with an annual turnover of more than $100 million to report annually on the risks of modern slavery in their operations and supply chains, and on the actions to address these. Fiona McGaughey (University of Western Australia) and Justine Nolan (UNSW) explain more.Read More
The Cashless Debit Card Symposium was held at both the University of Melbourne and the Alfred Deakin Institute on Thursday, the 1st of February 2018. The Power to Persuade is running a series of blogs drawn from the presentations made on the day. In this piece, Shelley Bielefeld from Australia National University analyses the Cashless Debit Card initiative to ascertain whether the concept of proportionality can justify the curtailing of certain human rights for communities subjected to the CDC.Read More
There are a range of approaches and tools that can be used to assess and improve public policy for women. Annie Pettitt, of Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, shared her expertise in applying a human rights lens to gender inequality in a keynote address given at the Women’s Policy Forum, held on 22 September 2017 in Melbourne. Today’s piece provides a summary of Annie’s key points, which explains the unique contributions that a human rights frame makes to better policy for women.Read More
The Australian "postal survey" said YES to marriage equality, and in doing so rejected a number of false or misleading claims by opponents. As the Senate returns this week to resume debate on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Jamie Gardiner examines the implications of the survey outcome for future reforms in addition to equal marriage.Read More
A growing number of organisations have explicitly supported the campaign for marriage equality in Australia. But as the debate has gathered momentum and a degree of heat in some quarters, some organisations have chosen to refrain from taking a public position, viewing the issue as one of personal conscience. In this adapted evidence review, Jason Rostant briefly outlines the public health case for health, community sector and other NGOs taking a public stance in support of marriage equality.Read More
Globally, as many as 45 million people are subjected to some form of modern slavery or slavery like practices including human trafficking, servitude, forced labour, forced or servile marriage, the sale and exploitation of children, and debt bondage. It is estimated 4300 of those are within Australia’s borders.
As the federal government deliberates whether Australia should adopt a Modern Slavery Act, Jacki Holland from Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand notes that while slavery may not be seen as big an issue in Australia as it is in other countries, it is a problem, and responses to this need to be human rights informed and victim focused.Read More
Persistent long-term growth in the world’s population has brought with it significant public health concerns. The global demographic is ageing, chronic disease is on the rise and these concerns for health and welfare systems require action in a time of economic uncertainty. Over 46 million people worldwide are currently living with dementia and this figure is set to treble in the next 35 years (Prince et al., 2015). In the post below, Dr Jennifer Lynch looks at if Assistive Technology is a human rights issue for people living with dementia.Read More
Tomorrow is Human Rights Day. Each year the international community commemorates that day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Australia played a leading role in its development and reach. On its 68th anniversary, Patrick Emerton from the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law reminds us why human rights are more important than ever, and why governments must not forget their role.Read More
At this year’s Prevalent and Preventable Conference organised by the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and Our Watch, there was a dedicated stream to exploring intersectionality within the Australian context, in relation to responding to, and preventing violence against women, specifically those who have been ‘minoritised’ by the dominant social groups. Intersectional theory is by no means new, however its more centralised inclusion in the violence against women discourse is. Many feminist and critical race theorists have long suggested and warned that ‘culture talk’ in relation to violence against women is a double-edged sword – whilst it may obscure gender-based domination within communities, it also highlights the importance of cultural considerations for contextualising oppressed groups claim for justice, for improving their access to services, and for requiring dominant groups to examine the invisible cultural advantages they enjoy.
This blog piece provides a reflection of the intersectionality stream and is posted as a Storify by the Women's Policy Action Tank.Read More
As an egregious abuse of human rights and an often hidden form of violence against women and children, forced marriage needs very specific policy responses. Currently, the major response is a legal one, requiring police intervention. Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand has been a key driver in increasing awareness of its prevalence in Australia, through conducting research (The Right to Refuse) and helping to establish the Victorian Forced Marriage Network. Good Shepherd’s Kathy Landvogt explains why a criminal response, while important, is not adequate.Read More
Australia spends more on dealing with a few thousand asylum seekers than the UNHCR's budget for supporting nearly 50 million refugees worldwide. This is outrageous and unsustainable, according to Asher Hirsch, Policy Officer at the Refugee Council of Australia. It's the next post in this week's series on asylum seekers. This article originally appeared in Right Now.Read More