‘Empowerment’ feminism is not working – we need a far more radical approach to gender equality

International Women’s Day has come and gone, leaving the annual short burst attention to “women’s issues” in its wake. So now is a good time to look at what emerged from it, and whether gender equity has stalled.

An 800,000-plus jobs gap between ‘welfare to work’ and reality

The major missing factor in debates on cutting welfare spending – as has been flagged by social services minister Kevin Andrews – is the limited and falling demand for labour. Labour market figures give the lie to the need to target working-age payment recipients as the issue.

The problem is not supply-side inadequacies but the demand for labour: there are far too few jobs on offer.

No Pay Rise For Low Pay Care Jobs

Tony Abbott wants to cut subsidised pay rises for aged care and child care workers. If he does, underpaid workers will continue to leave the industry or live in poverty.

Let’s acknowledge Abbott’s parental leave plan is better

A campaign to stop planned cuts to sole parent payments is aiming at the government’s vulnerable underbelly in its bid for a UN Security Council seat. Harming Australia’s image may be justified.

Persecuting The Poor?

There are clearly more jobseekers than jobs. So why are Australian politicians so set on punishing the victims of social inequality?

Why do we still need benchmarks for work and family policy?

This question is asked in the Benchmarks for Work and
Family Policies produced for the coming Federal election by a group of feminist academics, including myself. It raises the wider question of why existing policies are so weak in this area that we still need to construct tests against which to assess the parties’ proposals.

Making time and taking our time

Something went wrong between the dreams of post-war workers and our modern working lives. I remember the push for the 35 hour week and the dreams of new technologies that would see workers replaced by robots and more leisure for all. That dream has stayed in the realms of science fiction.

Who is damaged by the current superannuation system?

Media stories about possible changes to superannuation tax concessions generally focus on the “dangers” of reducing the unfair benefits of better off super contributors. Most stories come from financial journalists who voice the views of the finance industry, or offer opinion pieces from the various financial institutions that benefit substantially from the current system.

As gap between rich and poor widens, how well-off are we?

The government is crowing about the cut in interest rates, claiming that it shows that its economic policies are paying off. It spruiks the cuts as taking care of the needs of its pet target group, “working families” who are complaining about financial stress. The opposition is making its own noises about cost-of-living pressures in the hope of scaring potential voters to rust on to its parties.

Older workers need some new-age thinking

Why is there discrimination against older workers? The Toyota employees just dismissed might be dismayed to find that unemployment benefit recipients over 45 are seen as too old by far too many bosses.



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