Enhanced maternity pay packages don’t discriminate against men – what new ruling means for shared parental leave

The UK Court of Appeal ruled in late May that it is not sex discrimination for employers to enhance maternity pay but only provide the statutory rate of shared parental pay.

The court found that women on maternity leave are in a materially different situation to men taking shared parental leave, and so, as the positions are incomparable, there can be no discrimination.

Source: Enhanced maternity pay packages don’t discriminate against men – what new ruling means for shared parental leave

That pay gap? Gender discrimination is increasingly to blame

The gender pay gap may have narrowed slightly in recent years, but the reasons behind why it exists at all are growing increasingly concerning, with gender discrimination accounting for around two fifths of it.

Gender discrimination is up 10 per cent as a contributing pay gap factor since 2014, while the input of “occupational segregation” has dropped from 20 to 8 per cent.

Source: That pay gap? Gender discrimination is increasingly to blame

Why are women are being erased from breastfeeding advocacy?

Breastfeeding is an issue that affects mothers and their children — there is no need for gender neutral language.

The erasure of women and mothers from breastfeeding support has been a slow but steady creep over the past couple of years. Both internally and externally, pressure on peer and professional breastfeeding organizations to update language and imagery in order to centre the experience of individuals and families who identify as transgender and non-binary has increased. “Mother” should become “lactating parent,” “breastfeeding” should become “chestfeeding” or “human milk feeding,” and so on. Rather than expand the terminology to “mothers and _____,” the demands have typically been to eliminate references to women or female bodies in order to demonstrate respect and care. This has also been accompanied by an increasing number of attempts to normalize induced lactation in fathers and trans-identifying males, with total disregard for the impact these interventions have on mothers and babies (including the lack of evidence regarding male milk composition or the safety of the accompanying drug regimens for a baby consuming the resulting milk).

Source: Why are women are being erased from breastfeeding advocacy?

Warnings over surge in youth transgender cases

Clinicians are calling for an urgent national inquiry into the safety and ethics of giving unproven hormone drug treatment to ever younger children who are confused about sex and gender.

The first national figures, ­obtained under freedom of information legislation from major hospitals in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland, show 2415 children were referred for gender treatment between 2014 and last year, with a 41 per cent increase in ­Victoria. Girls as young as nine are ­believed to be put on ­“puberty blocker” drugs, and boys from about 11.

A poorly understood surge in children and teens identifying as transgender — especially girls whose body perception can be more fraught — has arrived in the past five to 10 years.

“Who gave ethics approval for this treatment (at children’s hospitals) when it lacks any scientific basis and therefore is an experiment?” Professor Whitehall said. “We should give the psychiatry and psychology a full run before we start castrating children.”

Professor Whitehall said there was no rigorous long-term evidence that puberty blockers were safe and reversible for younger children, and studies in adults and sheep suggested damage to the growing human brain could not be ruled out.

Source: Warnings over surge in youth transgender cases

How to drive cultural change to shift stubborn gender roles

KPMG’s 2018 report The Cost of Coming Back: Achieving a Better Deal for Working Mothers found that it would cost some professionally qualified working mums almost $30 a day in tax, lost payments and out-of-pocket childcare expenses to increase their working days from three to four per week.

Other working mothers would lose almost $80 a day by moving from four to five days per week of work. Outcomes like this are at odds with the Government’s intention to boost women’s workforce participation as part of increasing our national productivity.

It is also worth considering whether Australia should follow the UK and various other countries who have introduced laws or codes banning sexism in advertising.

In June, the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned ads that feature gender stereotypes (such as men lying around while women do all the cleaning or women having difficulty parking the car), following a report that found that gender-stereotypical imagery and rhetoric “can lead to unequal gender outcomes in public and private aspects of people’s lives.”

Source: How to drive cultural change to shift stubborn gender roles

Hundreds rally in NSW over abortion bill

Hundreds of supporters of a bill to decriminalise abortion in NSW have descended on state parliament with many holding signs stating “Our body, our choice” and “No uterus, no opinion”.

Darelle Duncan was one of those rallying on Wednesday in favour of the Reproductive Healthcare Reform Bill, which she says will give women the right to control their own lives.

Almost 50 years ago, a then 22-year-old Ms Duncan was unable to access an abortion, and her baby was later forcibly removed for adoption.

“I understand totally what it means to be in a position where you are forced into a pregnancy,” Ms Duncan told AAP.

“It changed my life irrevocably. It’s a trauma that one never gets over.”

Source: Hundreds rally in NSW over abortion bill | Camden-Narellan Advertiser

Govt introduces bill to ban commercial surrogacy (India)

Commercial surrogacy will soon be banned and only close relatives will be permitted to act as surrogates to infertile couples for ‘ethical altruistic’ reasons. The government introduced the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha that also provides for constitution of surrogacy boards at national and state levels, as well as that the intending couples should not abandon such a child under any condition.

Source: Govt introduces bill to ban commercial surrogacy, New Delhi – Express Healthcare

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bengaluru/unethical-practices-in-the-name-of-surrogacy-must-end-says-ex-judge/articleshow/70417344.cms

Here’s the Memo Currently Going Viral at Google

Motherboard published an article about a memo written by a Google employee titled “I’m Not Returning to Google After Maternity Leave, and Here is Why.” The memo, which alleges retaliation and discrimination against the author while she was pregnant, has gone viral inside the company over the past week, and has been read by more than 10,000 employees there.

Source: Here’s the Memo Currently Going Viral at Google – VICE

IT’S WAY PAST TIME to decriminalise abortion in NSW

It’s taken more than a century of brave action by women to decriminalise abortion in NSW

Although these days, lots of information about how to access reproductive services including abortion at medical clinics is available on the internet, tonight some women will still go to bed knowing they want to terminate pregnancy but have neither the funds or support that they need. Until abortion services are available through public hospitals and clinics throughout NSW, abortion will still not be affordable and accessible to all. But decriminalisation is an essential first step.

Source: IT’S WAY PAST TIME to decriminalise abortion in NSW – Wendy Bacon