A Tale of Two Housing Systems

Housing policy is a highly gendered issue
Women are the primary beneficiaries of housing support systems and assistance. Single women make up 45% of the 1.3 million income units in receipt of Commonwealth Rent Assistance (CRA). Single men account for 30% and couples 25% (see here). Females compose 60% of the 288 000 people assisted by specialist homelessness services (SHS). And across all social housing programs 61% of main tenants are women. Gendered patterns of housing support and assistance reflect the gendered contours of housing need and reveal the demand for housing solutions that are gender responsive.
Women also live longer compared to men and on less, gendered income and retirement gaps show no signs of shrinking, and violence continues to displace women and their children from their homes. The disadvantaged position of women in housing systems calls for greater housing stock that is both affordable and appropriate for women and their families.
Current housing funding arrangements embed this disadvantage. If decisions contained in this Budget maintain the housing status quo, this implies a lack of concern for addressing the second-class status of women and current gender inequality.
As recent research from AHURI finds, “the typical negatively-geared investor is male; aged in his mid-to-late forties; employed full-time; and has a tax assessable income, or income before deductions, of $91, 000” (p. 1). While estimates vary, it is suggested that the impact of negative gearing alone on the Federal Budget is at least $2 billion.
On the other hand, the typical social housing tenant is a woman. In public housing she is a woman over 55 and living alone. In State Owned and Managed Indigenous Housing, she is a woman aged 25-54 with dependent children. And in community housing she is a woman over 45 and living alone (see here). The annual Commonwealth funding for social housing and homelessness services from 2018-19 through the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement is $1.5 billion. Given that housing affordability has reached crisis levels which is propelling an increasing number of people into homelessness, housing affordability measures must be a priority for significantly greater investment.

So long as men aren't stepping up, women's empathy needs limits

Ironically, it is feminists who are consistently accused of hating men. I say this is ironic because feminists are in fact the ones who believe men are not inherently bad — that they can be good, that they can change, that they can choose respect and non-violence.
In a 1983 speech, Andrea Dworkin — whose legacy will likely always be that of a raving man-hater, on account of her passion and penchant for telling the brutal truth — said:
“I came here today because I don’t believe that rape is inevitable or natural. If I did, I would have no reason to be here. If I did, my political practice would be different than it is. Have you ever wondered why we are not just in armed combat against you? It’s not because there’s a shortage of kitchen knives in this country. It is because we believe in your humanity, against all the evidence.”
Indeed, it’s strange to consider those who imagine a better world to be the extremists and lunatics, rather than those who believe men will rape and kill and brutalize and abuse for eternity.
Of course, the million dollar question is: why haven’t men changed yet? Why are men still abusing and killing and raping?
If a man doesn’t want a second date, we spend hours wondering where we went wrong: are we not pretty enough or thin enough? Are we too old? We question every comment, beating ourselves up for fucking up our chances at love, once again. Men, when rejected, blame women.
Incels — a group of men who identify as “involuntarily celibate” and have congregated online to commiserate about the lack of sex they are getting from desirable women by discussing how much they hate said women — are a glaring example of this pattern.
It is incredible that men can all at once despise women but still consider themselves “good men” who these awful women should sleep with. It also makes for a terrible conundrum. What is the solution?

Why we still need a women's budget statement in 2018

Since 2014 there has been no Women’s Budget Statement. Now it’s up to an army of volunteers, led by the NFAW’s chair Marie Coleman, to do it.
The Australia Institute’s analysis also indicates that spending cuts mainly disadvantage women who rely on government services more than men. The proposed cuts in the 2014 Budget impacted women more than men: 55% of the cut in incomes was borne by women and 45% by men.
The result is a situation where men get the most benefit from tax cuts while women are more detrimentally impacted by spending cuts.
“The impacts of budget decisions on gender inequality should be a more prominent part of budget decision making,” Grudnoff says. “One way to help achieve this would be mandating that all budget decisions should include a statement showing the impact by gender. This at least would highlight which policies benefit men and disadvantage women.”
Which is precisely why the NFAW prepares its annual report.
Coleman says this year’s budget is “not great” for women although she identifies some small seeds of hope. The fact there were two women on the Expenditure Review Committee, the first time in several budgets, is positive. As is the fact the minister for women Kelly O’Dwyer expressly required the Office for Women to assist her in the ERC role.
In September O’Dwyer will unveil a ‘significant funding’ package to address the economic disadvantage many Australian women face. It’s promising but the budget remains the single most important policy document and to alleviate gender inequality in a meaningful sense requires wholesale reform at that level.

Labour suspends male activist who stood as women's officer 'because he identifies as a woman on Wednesdays'

A local Labour party has suspended a man who previously made it onto the list of candidates for women’s officer because he “identifies as a woman on Wednesdays”, under their “self-id” rules.
In order to stand for the women-only position, the candidate has to self-identify as a woman, but there are no other stipulations about gender.
David Lewis, a Labour activist, told the Spectator he identifies as a woman “on Wednesdays, between 6.50am when my alarm goes off and around midnight when I go to bed.”
Mr Lewis said he stood as candidate to: “inform the CLP, and maybe some other people, about what this policy means, about what happens when you say that someone’s gender depends only on what they say and nothing else.”

Why Swedish girls are hiding spoon in underpants at airports.

It is of course impossible to know the number of women and girls being taken abroad and forced into marriage, but we do know it’s happening all over the world. And we know one in five girls worldwide will be married before their 18th birthday.
A number of cases have emerged in Sweden in the last four years.
Idegard’s message is simple: If a girl slips a spoon into her underwear, it will trigger the metal detectors at the airport.
“You will be taken aside and you can talk to staff in private,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It is a last chance to sound the alarm,” she said.
Airport staff have been alerted to this new tactic, and instructed on how to best respond

Feminism Reboot: "We Are Alive, Right Here" | KOREA EXPOSÉ

Two years ago in South Korea, a woman was murdered in Gangnam. It was a senseless death that changed the landscape of feminism in South Korea. Here are the stories of the women who want to reclaim the “dirty F-word” into a language of empowerment.
Feminism Reboot: That’s what the activists are calling this recent surge of interest in feminism. Despite the hostility, or perhaps because of it, the movement for women’s rights has been gaining traction in recent years.

Saudi Arabia Detains Activists Who Pushed to End Ban on Women Driving

Saudi Arabia has detained at least five people connected to the campaign to end the kingdom’s longtime ban on women driving, despite the fact that the government has promised to lift the ban next month, associates of the detainees said on Friday.
Around the time last year that the government announced that it was going to lift the ban on women driving, the authorities contacted a number of women who had campaigned against the ban and warned them to avoid talking about the issue on social media or with journalists, some of them said later.
Many of them assumed that the government did not want them to take credit publicly for the policy change in an absolute monarchy that suppresses activism.

Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities’ Funding to Abortion Restrictions

WASHINGTON — Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials.
Federal family planning laws already ban direct funding of organizations that use abortion as a family planning method. But conservative activists and Republican lawmakers have been pressing Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, to tighten the rules further so that abortions could not occur — or be performed by the same staff — at locations that receive Title X federal family planning money.
One Trump official said the rule would give Planned Parenthood and other groups that receive federal family planning money a choice: Disentangle themselves from abortion or lose government funding.
At the time, Planned Parenthood publicly rejected the proposal out of hand, saying it would never agree to a plan that would compel it to stop offering or advising women about abortions.

How Indigenous and disabled women lost out in the 2018 budget

Despite the government spruiking its tax relief for Australians in this year’s budget, many women will not benefit from the tax plan. There is also a lack of support for the most vulnerable in our society, including Indigenous women, women with a disability and women affected by family violence.
The budget papers state that the tax offset, available from 1 July 2018, will benefit low and middle income earners.
However, the structure of the tax offset only reduces tax paid, if a person pays tax in the first place. In the 2015-16 year, 1.9 million, or 32% of women who lodged a tax return, were not taxable, and would not benefit from the offset.
Additional funding was not set aside for the National Plan to Reduce Violence against women and their children. Eight years after the plan was launched and midway through the government’s Third Action Plan, there is no improvement in any of the four indicators of change.
Indigenous women also lose out with this budget. At a time when the government’s Closing the Gap efforts are seen to be faltering, with only one of seven key targets on track to be met after a decade, there is little in this budget to change that.
Notably, the proposal to allow the federal government to withhold welfare payments to pay fines imposed under state and territory laws has been described by the National Congress of First Peoples as:

…a recipe for ensuring that the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society will remain so, with unpaid fines likely leading to increased rates of incarceration rather than pathways to prosperity.


Yale Discriminates Against Men, USC Student Claims

The Department of Education civil right’s office is investigating Yale University after a student from another school filed a Title IX complaint, alleging the Ivy League institution discriminates against men.
Several Yale programs that provide educational assistance, scholarships, and networking opportunities for women are part of the investigation, which was started on April 26, the Yale Daily News reported.
In an interview with Refinery29 Tuesday, Pekgoz said he filed the complaint for “no particular reason,” adding, “I thought about going after Harvard, but then I felt that Yale has larger affirmative action programs for women.” He cites the fact that Yale’s class of 2021 is 52% women as a reason to gradually phase out the programs or open them to men, too.