When the Wages for Housework (WFH) campaign exploded onto the international feminist stage, it sparked the first debate on unwaged caring labour that women are forced into due to the social roles they are expected to perform. It demanded money from the State as compensation for the labour that was not merely a “role” that women were performing, but formed the backbone of the economy due to the physical and emotional investment made by women into housework.
“All I knew was that the basic weakness of women was that we did work that was unwaged and that payment for that work was absolutely central to our autonomy- to our right to have children and our right not to have children, to pay equity”, says Selma.
It was the 1972 seminal publication, The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community, co-written with the feminist Mariarosa Dalla Costa, that first theorised housework and caring work as unwaged labour that women are forced to do; the very labour whose output supports the working class and through it, the market economy. Soon after, Selma James launched into praxis.
In fact, in May of 2015, the tongue-in-cheek Twitter hashtag #GiveYourMoneyToWomen went viral. Initiated by Lauren Chief Elk, it highlighted how women’s time and attention is often taken for granted, and suggested that if it were in such high demand, perhaps it deserved to be paid for. https://www.eyeartcollective.com/the-struggle-keeps-you-going-selma-jamesfounder-of-international-wages-for-housework-campaign-talks-trump-pay-equity-and-more/
Getting an abortion in New Zealand is a needlessly complicated, time-sensitive process. There are many points at which your abortion experience could go wrong, potentially leaving you with a life-long commitment to parenting that you never wanted or intended. http://alranz.org/flowchart-test-nz/?
The death of a 14-year-old rape victim who has died during childbirth in Paraguay has been in all the news media there.
A 37-year-old man who lives in the same building as the girl’s family, who is accused of raping and impregnating the girl, was apparently arrested only on 22 March 2018, according to Ricardo González Borgne, head of the National Secretariat for Children and Adolescents. “In 70% percent of cases, sexual abuse in Paraguay comes from inside the family, e.g. a stepfather, uncle, brother, grandfather. This is one of the most disturbing features. It is a cultural issue [sic] that relates to the theme of education and strengthening the rights of children,” said Borgne.
In May 2015, we published the story of a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after being abused by her stepfather and was refused an abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy, which made the news. This girl survived childbirth, but according to Amnesty International (quoted in the Guardian last week) she has not yet received the housing that the government promised to give her at the time.
According to an article we published in 2013, in 2009 a quarter of the women for whom there are records who presented to a hospital with complications after an abortion were less than 20 years old, and almost a third of maternal deaths were in young women aged 15-24 years old. These figures are considered as only the most visible part of the problem, being from deaths that were recorded in the health statistics system.
The latest data from the Ministry of Health, from a survey of reproductive health issues in childhood, including adolescent pregnancy, showed that about 15% of the women who gave birth in Paraguay did so at least once before the age of 18 years. http://www.safeabortionwomensright.org/paraguay-child-who-was-pregnant-following-sexual-abuse-dies-from-complications-of-delivery/?
I have worked as both a crown prosecutor and criminal defence lawyer in some of the most remote areas of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. I have seen our criminal justice system inside out and from both sides of the bar table, and I know it is being grossly overused and misused.
The preventable and tragic death of Ms Dhu, who died in police custody after being arrested for unpaid fines, is a clear example of punitive laws and policing practices that are dangerous and compound inequality. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/27/i-know-our-criminal-justice-system–
In this Southeast Asian nation, where legal adoption can take years, people are handing over thousands of dollars to baby sellers and turning to corrupt officials to help register the children they buy as their own.
A baby’s price can range from about $400 to $7,500, with their value determined by race, skin colour, gender and weight.
“The lighter skin, if a male, higher price. The darker skin, a girl, lower price. And then if you’re a mix, higher price. This is how it works,” explained Hartini.
The babies offered for sale come from a variety of women. Some are poor migrant workers who, by law, are not allowed to have children in the country. Others come from Malaysian women, including some who are forced to give up their babies to avoid the stigma associated with having a child out of wedlock.
In this Muslim-majority country, having a child out of wedlock is not just frowned upon; it’s a Shariah offence for a Muslim woman to have sex with a man who is not her husband. The punishment is up to three years in prison, whipping and a fine of up to 5,000 ringgit (about $1,155).
The buyers are often childless couples desperate to start a family and frustrated with the country’s convoluted adoption procedures. But activists say some babies are bought for more sinister purposes, sometimes by syndicates who groom children for paedophiles. https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2016/malaysia-babies-for-sale-101-east/index.html
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – said they would lobby Treasurer Scott Morrison to cease funding of family planning services that include abortion, both in Australia and internationally.
ALHR Women and Girls’ Rights Committee co-chair, Associate Professor Rita Shackel, said the organisation was concerned that members of the federal government appeared to be supporting the denial of access to abortion services, as well as the continued criminalisation of such services.
“Such a position is inconsistent with Austalia’s human rights obligations. Reproductive rights are recognised by international law as belonging to all women and girls everywhere and include the right to access safe and legal abortions,” she said. Anna Kerr, ALHR Women and Girls’ Rights Committee co-chair, agreed with Associate Professor Shackel’s comments, adding that the government should be “unambiguously supporting” women and girls’ right to autonomy over their own bodies and health. https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/politics/22941-alhr-government-must-do-more-to-protect-reproductive-health-rights?
ALHR has also called on the Federal Government to do more to ensure that Australia is meeting its international obligations to guarantee the reproductive health rights of women and girls’. The calls come in response to comments by MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker at an anti-abortion rally in Queensland on Sunday.
MP George Christensen said that he intends to petition the Treasurer Scott Morrison to cease funding of family planning services that include abortion in Australia and around the world.
Anna Kerr, Co-Chair of ALHR’s Women and Girls’ Rights Committee added, “Members of the Australian Government should be unambiguously supporting women and girls’ right to autonomy over their own bodies and health. Those who seek abortions should not be treated as criminals and nor should organisations devoted to protecting women and girls, especially victims of violence, be targeted for their pro-choice policy positions.” https://alhr.org.au/rights-women-girls/
‘River to Rooftop’, being held on Friday, 20 June, will see a number of corporate teams take on the 1,040 steps to the rooftop of ONE ONE ONE Eagle Street in support of the Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ).
In a statement, WLSQ said that financial support was needed.
“This year, the service has experienced unprecedented demand for their free legal and social work help for domestic violence victims and their children,” the service said.
“Currently, the service is only able to respond to 39 per cent of calls for help.” https://www.lawyersweekly.com.au/biglaw/22918-wls-stair-climb-fundraiser-organised-for-dv-victims?