Let’s not revise history: Gillard could not have raised her gender earlier

Since that time, change has occurred such that there is now a greater awareness and more widespread acceptance that being a female leader is a unique and colossal challenge.
This change in atmosphere is why the London-based Global Institute for Women’s Leadership has been launched and it is why Gillard accepted the role as its inaugural chair.
Back in 2010 when Gillard became Australia’s first female prime minister this was not the case. To the contrary, the hostility she faced when she even dared mention gender was white hot. It was an illegitimate “card” she played whenever the going got tough.
It is true that in the eight years since Australia got its first female PM the public discourse has moved. Gender equality is no longer automatically dismissed as an entirely niche subject: it has inched its way towards the mainstream as a live issue.
#MeToo and #TimesUp have accelerated this in recent months but conversation is not the same as action. Inequality persists – in pay, power and privilege. Women in Australia are still being discriminated against, harassed, underpaid and underrepresented in leadership positions.

The data says it all: There's a significant 'motherhood penalty' in Australia & getting worse

The so called “motherhood penalty” is more deeply entrenched than I thought in Australia, and it’s getting worse.
According to the Diversity Council, which regularly produces a report looking at the drivers of the gender pay gap, the influence of years not working, i.e. career interruptions, usually related to the birth of children, has more than doubled since the Diversity Council first researched the drivers of the gender pay gap ten years ago.
What’s more, Australia has some of the highest part-time work rates for women in the world, according to the OECD. Only Switzerland and the Netherlands outrank us. And to round things out, 1 in 2 women report experiencing discrimination while pregnant, on maternity leave or when they return to work, and they are spending up to twice as much time on unpaid domestic housework as men.
I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know when I point out that over the course of a lifetime, this adds up to the ultimate “motherhood penalty”, with women retiring with on average half the superannuation as men. Older single women are the fastest growing group of people falling into homelessness.

POLAND – In response to all-male discussions of women’s issues on TV, a group of women made a mock programme on men’s sexuality – Safe Abortion : Women's Right

POLAND – In response to all-male discussions of women’s issues on TV, a group of women made a mock programme on men’s sexuality.
They chose the sexual health of men as their subject and asked the question: Should Viagra be a prescription drug? They discussed male problems with erection and the selling of Viagra without a prescription while contraception requires one. During the debate, one said: “I think men must be protected from Viagra because it is an extremely strong drug with numerous side effects. “An erection is a gift from God” another argued, while a third claimed: “Use of Viagra interferes with the plans of God.”

Welfare crackdown on relationships a ‘double standard’ not applied to MPs

The new policy requires those on the single-parent payment and a similar Newstart payment to find a “referee” to sign a legally binding form verifying that the welfare recipient is single.
The new policy requires those on the single-parent payment and a similar Newstart payment to find a “referee” to sign a legally binding form verifying that the welfare recipient is single.

Terese Edwards, the council’s chief executive, told Turnbull the requirements effectively allowed Centrelink to “police women’s relationship status”. They were demeaning to women and belonged in the 1970s, she said. Edwards said the previous arrangements were less onerous and intrusive, but still achieved third-party verification.
“We remain concerned for women who have left a violent partner and or women who require greater privacy as well as woman who do not have a ‘trusted third party’, noting that the third party cannot be a family member,” she said.

Paedophiles to be punished with strengthened sentencing and new laws in changes slated for NSW

Repeat child sex abusers will face a possible life in jail as NSW overhauls paedophile punishment legislation, but the Premier sidestepped introducingstate laws to break the seal of confession.
One of the major recommendations made by the royal commission was that the sanctity of the religious confessional should be pushed aside, requiring religious ministers to report any child sexual abuse revealed to them.
Divisions have emerged, even among Australian Catholic Church leadership, about whether there should be legal intervention in the religious practice.
NSW did not announce any new legislation to obliterate the practice which allowed some church clergy to avoid prosecution for child sexual offences.
Instead, the Premier said the seal of the confessional should be addressed at a national level via the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) process.
Changes to the laws would now no longer require victims of child sexual abuse to prove assaults took place at specific times and places — a requirement that had prevented some offenders from being prosecuted.
NSW has joined Victoria as the only states to have opted into the national redress scheme.

Why Family Violence Leave Should Be Paid

[F]inancial hardship can bind women to abusive relationships. As such, the economic backing that ongoing employment supplies can be a critical factor in supporting women to leave abusive relationships. Continued employment can also serve to psychologically bolster victims.
Providing paid family violence leave means we’re not asking victims to choose between foregoing necessary support for the sake of financial security.
By failing to provide family violence leave we risk re-entrenching existing forms of disadvantage and failing to address a potential contributing factor to the persistent gender pay gap in this country.

Trans equality will come, but it won’t be an easy journey

In response to an inquiry from a Mumsnet user, Serco declared: “Guests travel with the Caledonian Sleeper in shared accommodation for men-only or women-only; the service is provided on the basis of the gender that the individual self-identifies with.” To this, the Mumsnet user responded: “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with this at all and it’s yet another example of women’s spaces being erased.” Soames then entered the fray in person by tweeting: “I think you are referring to the possibility that people may say that they are a woman when in fact they are a man – sigh.” His passengers, he said, were not “deceitful”.

How Feminists in China Are Using Emoji to Avoid Censorship | WIRED

Shortly after the close of this year’s International Women’s Day, China’s Twitter-like service Sina Weibo shut down Feminist Voices. With 180,000 followers, the group’s social media account was one of the most important advocacy channels for spreading information about women’s issues in China, but in an instant, it was gone. A few hours later, the private messaging app WeChat also shuttered an account for the group. The official reasons for the closures were vague, simply that the accounts had posted content that violated regulations, but the subtext was clear: the country’s highly-monitored media was trying to silence women’s advocates.
Days after it went dark, images appeared online of a group of masked women holding a symbolic funeral for the death of Feminist Voices. Yet the group’s founder Lu Pin (now based in the US) wrote on Twitter that she viewed the ritual not as a funeral, but as a “fantastic carnival,” signifying a rebirth, and she pledged to “reclaim the account by every legal avenue.”
“Keeping the movement going will be challenging, but these feminists are tenacious and extremely determined. The Chinese government can’t wipe out the women’s movement in this era of global connectivity.”

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the Women Cryptographers Who Fought WWII at the Intersection of Language and Mathematics

While Alan Turing was decrypting Nazi communication across the Atlantic, some eleven thousand women were breaking enemy code in America.
Their story, as heroic as that of the women who dressed and fought as men in the Civil War, as fascinating and untold as those of the “Harvard Computers” who revolutionized astronomy in the nineteenth century and the black women mathematicians who powered space exploration in the twentieth, is what Liza Mundy tells in Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II (public library).