Feminism

Abbott’s nanny state could expose kids to lesser levels of care

Asking for government funding for nannies may expose children to lesser levels of care as well as assisting more affluent women to exploit many less powerful ones. Rather than expanding this type of payment, government should fix the supply and other problems in its child care services that make access hard.

The F word is flourishing

The Opera House Foyer was packed with women on the 4th of March. It was a serious mix of older and younger, as we moved into the theatre to fill the seats for three sessions of feminism: Naomi Wolf, then Germaine Greer, followed by a panel with Clem Bastow and Eliza Griswold added. The sessions sold separately but by the day, all three were just about booked out. Who said feminism was dead?

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The feminist exercise: achieving real gender equity

This is the time of the year when there is a brief flurry of interest in women's rights and roles. There will be some celebrations but not much political action. Is this acceptance of the status quo because there are some very prominent women in top positions

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What is a feminist?

The recent debate in the media about who should call themselves a feminist blew up recently in discussions of whether Melinda Tankard Reist and her anti-abortion views. Obviously anyone can claim to be feminist but is it always appropriate?

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40 years on and the equal pay gaps continue

It will be 40 years in December since the incoming Whitlam government asked the Arbitration Commission to reopen the equal pay case. The government sent Mary Gaudron to argue and the commission brought down the historic decision that women should be paid the male rates for the same jobs. A couple of years later the basic wage was applied to women as well as men.

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The reality of the gender wage gap

As long as people see the gender wage gap as normal, society has a problem. This view is illustrated in a comment by Jeremy Sammut on a Centre for Independent Studies email newsletter: “Forget that the decision is based on dodgy comparisons – why should someone with a three-year social work degree have income parity with a trained economist or scientist?”

Women lumped with thin end of retirement wedge

The ABS has again produced data that shows women are lagging badly behind men in one of the pillars of our retirement income. This is because our highly subsidised superannuation system is based on pre-retirement earnings. Over their lifetime and because they take on particular types of jobs, women earn less than men.

Tax Forum: should nannies for high income women be subsidised?

Some very well-paid women want to use the Tax Forum to press the government to substantially subsidise the costs of nannies by allowing their costs to be tax deductible.

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More women in cabinet, but social issues slip agenda

The Julia Gillard's "focus and firepower to pursue the government's priorities" do not offer much hope of a political agenda that focuses more on social rather than economic goals. The priorities she has stated clearly are economic growth and jobs. A useful indicator of the way she sees priorities can be gendered reallocated portfolios.

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Broadening the Boardroom options

One of the failures of feminism has been our inability to change the culture of most workplaces. At all levels but especially at the top, the holders of power still believe the following myths:

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