It's Crunch Time -Tell Parliament, Workers Need Time to Care
The Government and politicians are currently considering whether workplaces should better accommodate requests for flexible work for carers. We say they should. By adding your name to the campaign, you can tell the key Government and Independent MPs that you want them to vote for the laws being put to Parliament, but to also vote for amendments unions are proposing. Family-friendly work arrangements shouldn’t come at the expense of our job or income security. We all need time to work and time to care. http://workinglife.org.au/timetocare/
Study on women and girls with disability
For more than 20 years, women with disability in Australia have spoken out about being denied the right to live their lives free from violence and abuse. The Stop the Violence Project: Improving Service Delivery for Women and Girls with Disabilities, headed by Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), is undertaking research to build the evidence base to support future reform of the service system to better respond to the needs of women and girls with disability.
The research project is seeking information from mainstream and specialist prevention and response, policy making, representative, and service provider organisations, across domestic violence/sexual assault, disability services and other relevant service sectors including the criminal justice and victim’s support sectors, in all states and territories, particularly in regards to their views and experience of policy and practice relevant to violence prevention and response for women and girls with disability. For more information or to participate in the project, you are invited to complete a short online survey by Friday, May 31, 2013 at http://www.stvp.org.au/survey.htm
Living Longer Living Better (The Aged Care Bill 2013)
For background information to this bill and changes that might ensue for carers see http://workingcarers.org.au/options/1467-living-longer-living-better-changes-that-might-affect-working-carers
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The Australian Government has released draft rules that will guide how the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) works for people with disability, their families, carers and service providers. The rules support the National Disability Insurance Scheme Bill 2012, which is currently before the Australian Parliament. The Bill establishes the NDIS, including eligibility criteria and what constitutes reasonable and necessary support. It also establishes the NDIS Agency to deliver the Scheme. The rules provide a further level of detail on how the NDIS will work, including how people with disability will be able to access the scheme, and how the Agency will determine what supports are reasonable to meet a person’s needs. The Government has previously released the NDIS Rules Consultation Paper which explained the purpose and scope of the NDIS rules.
What election issues matter to you the most
ABC News wants to know what issues will influence your vote in this year's federal election, and which policy areas you are interested in hearing about. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-26/what-election-issues-matter-to-you-abcmyvote/4583744
Constitutional change in South Australia
Launch of Women's Activism Book on IWD 2013
Activists welcome hard-fought UN agreement on women's rights
Negotiations end with agreement on ending violence against women at the Commission on the Status of Women, but civil society groups express concerns. Read more
UN adopts plan to combat violence against women, opposing forces of religion and culture.
Global Thematic Consultation on Governance
The Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and the Post 2015 Agenda will take place from 28 February to 1 March at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa. Through this event, the UN is facilitating the consultation process of civil society, experts, parliamentarians, foundations, private sector, trade unions and other key stakeholders to build a shared vision of the centrality of governance to the post 2015 development framework.
The event will bring together about 170 participants including opinion leaders, representatives from the grassroots, civil society organizations, academia, and parliamentarians from across the globe to discuss the potential contribution of governance and accountability to a new global development paradigm underpinned by human rights principles and standards.
The event is preceded by a series of pre-meetings from 24 to 27 February that will highlight progress being made by African countries in democracy-building, strengthening regional governance processes and developing a bold vision of the "Africa We Want Post-2015".
The Global consultation on Governance will conclude with a report that will contribute to international discussions on the post-2015 development framework.
Visit http://www.worldwewant2015.org/governance for more information and for a live webcast of the meeting. You may also follow and contribute to the proceedings via social media (use #gov2015 on Twitter).
Say NO to Violence Against Women - Join in a Thuderclap Tweet
Next week, on 4 March, the 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (#CSW57) opens at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. It will convene governments, activists, media and private sector partners from around the world to discuss how to prevent violence against women and girls and improve services for survivors everywhere. We are excited about the momentum and opportunity that CSW57 brings! Are you?
Make some noise leading up to CSW57! Join this Thunderclap to tweet in ONE voiceand demand an end to violence against women and girls.
Thunderclap is a new crowdspeaking platform that will store tweets and release them all together on 4 March. The more tweets gathered, the louder the message.
Valuing unpaid caring: the next major reform
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has released a report today that suggests eleven areas of reform that will value unpaid caring in Australia and remove the lifelong disadvantage experienced by many people who care. Commissioner Broderick said that the majority of caring in our community was undertaken by women and that the current superannuation, taxation and employment systems severely disadvantaged them.
“People who make the valuable contribution and personal sacrifices of caring for parents, in-laws, children, grand-children and others in our community with disability, chronic illness or frailty due to old age are penalised by a system that does not recognise this invaluable personal and socio-economic contribution,” Commissioner Broderick said. “2009 statistics show 5.5 million women and men between the ages of 15 and 64 undertake unpaid care in Australia.”
“The failure of our superannuation and taxation systems, alone, to recognise this contribution and provide a value for this unpaid work means that carers – mostly women - who have had long and repeated absences from paid employment, find they have negligible retirement savings and indeed, often retire in poverty,” Ms Broderick said. “Considering the contribution these people have made to our economy by undertaking this unpaid work, it is time we changed this outcome.”
Commissioner Broderick said the Investing in care report was intended as a discussion paper that would kickstart consideration of potential policy reforms in Australia.
“There is no single initiative that will solve this problem – we will need a combination of reforms to achieve change in relation to unpaid caring,” Commissioner Broderick said.
“Our report suggests 11 options for policy reform drawn from research and analysis of a range of mechanisms and models used to value unpaid caring work, in Australia and another 24 countries around the world,” Ms Broderick said. “The report advocates evidence-based options for reform concerned with strengthening and further developing legislation, flexible work arrangements, income support, leave arrangements, resourcing of services, workplace initiatives, workplace culture, and the retirement incomes and savings system.”
The report is available at: www.humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/VUCW_australiaResearchPrj/index.htm
National Day of Action for Single Parents - 5 February 2013
Australian Single parents are uniting at Parliament Houses around Australia to protest low-income single parents being moved from the Parent Payment Single welfare payment to the lower Newstart Allowance.
This policy significantly reduces many single parent family incomes, forcing single parents and their children into poverty, regardless of whether they are working already or not.
Single parent protest rallies are taking place around Australia on the national day of action - 5 February 2013. Find your local details below:
NSW - Sydney: 11am, meeting at Martin Place, Macquarie Street, Sydney. Walking to Parliament House.
NSW - Newcastle: 9:00am, meeting Centrelink office, King Street, marching to Grierson's office to arrive 11am. After: Public meeting at Newcastle Trades Hall, Devonshire Land 11:30am
Qld - Brisbane: Meet at King George Square before marching to Parliament House, arriving 11am.
ACT - Canberra: Meet at old parliament house 9:30am, marching to Parliament House, arriving 11am
NT - Darwin: Meet at Parliament House 11am
SA - Adelaide: Meet at Victoria Square 10am, then marching to Parliament house, arriving 11am
Tas - Hobart: Meet at St Davids Park, Davey Street 10am, then marching to Parliament lawns arriving 11am
Vic - Melbourne: Meet at Parliament House, Spring Street 11am
WA - Perth: Meet at: Parliament House Harvest Terrace When: 11am
There is no evidence that more sole parents are employed because of these policy changes.
Parents affected by these cuts were already expected to participate in work when their child turns six, so the change and cuts are futile as no extra support is on offer to find and keep jobs
Changes we need
Restore all sole parents with children in primary school to Parenting Payment levels of income and retain the original taper rates.
Explore the needs of parents with children at high school and fix the lack of care options before cutting their payments.
Why raise payments
these payments recognise parenting time is still important for children over 8.
the level is already tight but can be just enough to live on and look for work.
the payment levels make it worthwhile to take on part time work.
It reinstates 10,000 already employed sole parents who lose all support.
What else needs changing?
Recognise the shortage of suitable jobs and employer prejudice
Wider recognition of other parental social contributions,
Review fixed hours of paid work to fit the needs of children
2009 Women Getting into Boards Report by ACLW
The complete Report is published at JCU
Proposed Anti-Discrimination laws will improve workers’ protection from unfair treatment
The Gillard Government’s reform of anti-discrimination laws will make it easier for workers to take action when they are discriminated against. “Discrimination is still a real issue in the workplace, for example 20 per cent of pregnant women report that they are discriminated against.” Ms Kearney said the amendments addressed some of the key problems with the current anti-discrimination system by introducing a shared burden of proof for employers and employees and by ensuring workers would not have to pay employers costs. Full ACTU article
The Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) presents a visual overview of the events in 2012 through a women's rights lens. http://vimeo.com/57669274
Sydney ONE BILLION RISING
Thiis is a global call to women and men across the planet to gather in their communities to demand an end to violence against women and girls. The event was founded by Eve Ansler, Tony Award winning Playwright, performer, activist, and the author of The Vagina Monologues.
Sydney’s contribution to ONE BILLION RISING will be taking place on February 14th at 12 pm on The Opera House steps.
Indian Women Activists' Petition
Support Indian women Activists asking the Indian government to actively prosecute rape cases, introduce compulsory sensitivity training for police, and pass two proposed laws to protect women. Consider Signing this Petition
Pay Negotiations Study
When wages negotiable, women readily make pay deals: The Conversation.
The 2012 Australian Census of Women in Leadership
Released on Tuesday 27 November 12, the Census paints a mixed picture of gender equality in the workplace. It's still a long way to the top for Australian working women.
New Law for Gender Equality in Australia
The Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012, passed by federal parliament tonight, is a landmark development on the journey to gender equality in Australian workplaces. It:
- focuses on gender equality including equal pay between women and men
- promotes the elimination of discrimination on the basis of family and caring responsibilities
- will provide ground-breaking data on the state of gender equality in Australian workplaces
- will change the name of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The Act is a significant advance on its predecessor, the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999, shifting the focus from equal opportunity for women to gender equality, which is more contemporary and relevant. The Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency will be renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency reflecting this change in focus.
Helen Conway, Director of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency says "the changes will increase Australia's productivity and improve business performance by empowering organisations to harness all of the nation's talent." Under the Act, non-public sector organisations with 100 or more employees will report on actual gender equality outcomes, and provide the Workplace Gender Equality Agency with standardised data.
16 Days of Activism
In order to draw attention to the global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence and the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has launched an electronic information and action initiative on the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Something in Common website. During the sixteen days, the Commission’s Something in Common website will feature articles about various aspects of violence against women, including domestic violence and the workplace, violence and women from migrant and refugee communities, domestic violence and homelessness and domestic violence in LGBTI relationships.
The worldwide 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence campaign originated from the first Women's Global Leadership Institute, coordinated by the Center for Women's Global Leadership in 1991. It symbolically runs from the International Day Against Violence Against Women on 25 November to International Human Rights Day on 10 December.
In addition, as part of the Commission’s efforts to honour and highlight the International Day, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, and Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes, are White Ribbon Ambassadors for the male-led White Ribbon campaign to prevent male violence against women. The Commission’s 16 Days initiative is online at somethingincommon.gov.au/
EU Quota Legislation
The European Commission adopted a proposal aiming to make boards two-fifths female by 2020, Mina Andreeva, a spokeswoman for EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, said.
Regulators amended earlier versions so companies would only face sanctions if they fail to favour women, even if they don't meet the quota. See http://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/1083459/eu-may-require-companies-favour-appointment-women-over-men-boards
White Ribbon Day
Every year on November 25, White Ribbon Day draws the world’s attention to the issue of violence against women. This year, White Ribbon will again be raising awareness to help put a stop to this issue, but we can’t do it alone. We need all of our ambassadors and supporters to get the word out there to everyone in Australia, and across the world! All over Australia, supporters are bringing people together to raise awareness on this important issue. You can find individual ribbons and wristbands available at many of these local community events. Find an event near you.
The Post 2015 Development Agenda – What It Means And How To Get Involved
As the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) approaches, the United Nations, Member States and civil society have started consultations on a new development framework that will succeed the MDGs. AWID spoke to UN Women’s Laura Turquet to help us better understand the UN Post-2015 Development Agenda and related processes. More
Sexual Harassment in Australia
The Australian Human Rights Commission (Commission) conducted a national telephone survey between May and August 2012 to investigate the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces over the past five years (2012 National Survey).
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick has released Working without fear: Results of the sexual harassment national telephone survey 2012 that found that approximately one in five people aged 15 years and older were sexually harassed in the workplace in the past five years.
Overall, the 2012 National Survey shows that sexual harassment is a persistent and pervasive problem in Australian workplaces. It also shows that limited progress has been made since the Commission conducted its 2008 National Survey. It is particularly concerning that there has been little reduction in the prevalence of sexual harassment since the 2008 National Survey.
Although sexual harassment affects a diverse range of individuals across a broad spectrum of occupations, workplaces and industries, the 2012 National Survey shows that targets of sexual harassment are most likely to be women and less than 40 years of age. Consistent with previous surveys, the 2012 National Survey also shows that the harassers are most likely to be male co-workers, though women were at least five times more likely than men to have been harassed by a boss or employer. Men harassing women accounted for more than half (56%) of all sexual harassment, while male harassment of men accounted for nearly a quarter (23%) of sexual harassment.
It is also concerning that there has been a significant increase in the number of people who have experienced negative consequences (eg victimisation) as a result of making a formal report or complaint of sexual harassment. Furthermore, understanding and reporting of sexual harassment remain low.
Broderick describes the figures as ‘extraordinary’.
The research shows that one in four women (25%) and one in six men (16%) have been sexually harassed in the workplace in the past five years. If a person's entire lifetime is considered, the gender gap is even more profound with a third of women (33%) and less than one in ten men (9%) experiencing sexual harassment.
The Report is at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/sexualharassment/survey/chapter1.html
Australia regresses in the Global Gender Gap
The Global Gender Gap Report 2012 benchmarks national gender gaps of 135 countries on economic, political, education- and health-based criteria. Australia is ranked 25th in 2012. In 2011, it was ranked 23rd and in 2010, 20th.
The Report shows that the 135 countries covered in the Report, representing over 90% of the
world’s population, have closed almost 96% of the gap in health outcomes between women and men and almost 93% of the gap in educational attainment. However, the gap between women and men on economic participation and political empowerment remains wide: only 60% of the economic outcomes gap and only 20% of the political outcomes gap have been closed.
Four Nordic countries that have consistently held the highest positions in previous editions of the Global Gender Gap Index continue to hold these privileged positions. Iceland (1) still holds the top spot, closely followed by Finland (2), Norway (3) and Sweden (4). Finland and Norway exchange spots in the rankings this year. Although no country has yet achieved gender quality, all of the Nordic countries, with the exception of Denmark, have closed over 80% of the gender gap and thus serve as models and useful benchmarks for international comparisons.
The Report is at http://www.weforum.org/issues/global-gender-gap
Gender equality is stymied by the persistent myth of merit
https://theconversation.edu.au/gender-equality-is-stymied-by-the-persistent-myth-of-merit-10110 explores the issue of ability and gender in the context of merit
Confronting Gender Inequality Beyond Quotas
considers the global pressure to enforce gender equality measures and asks some pertinent questions about the system that gives rise to an outcome that needs such measures.
International Day of the Girl
International Day of the Girl will be celebrated for the first time on Thursday, October 11. Officially declared by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2011, the International Day of the Girl Child aims to bring global awareness to the difficult plight of girls in developing countries, advocate for girls’ rights, and push for greater gender equality for voiceless girls the world over. This year’s theme for International Day of the Girl is ending child marriage. According to World Vision, today, as every day, an estimated 3,500 girls will marry before reaching their fifteenth birthdays. Another 21,000 girls each day marry before the age of 18. Their total is expected to reach up to 100 million within the next decade. Already, 51 million girls in the developing world have been married before legal adulthood. The top three countries with the highest rates of child marriage are Bangladesh, Niger, and Chad. In some places in Niger child marriage can rise as high as 75 percent. World Vision Report
Sole Parents Deserve Better by Eva Cox
The community sector and a group of feminist organisations are backing a request by ACOSS and other major welfare agencies to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights to intervene and discourage the Commonwealth Government from pressing ahead with such damaging cuts to the parenting payments. In at least one feminist group there has been the start of campaign to inform members of the UN general assembly about this complaint so they can consider whether Australia merits a seat on the Security Council. Full Article
Record women taking silk inspiring
Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, has commended the New South Wales Bar Association on its record appointment of women to Senior Counsel this year. “Twelve of the 26 barristers elevated to the senior ranks of the bar on Friday were women,” Commissioner Broderick said. “This sends a very inspiring message to young women who may be considering the law as a career choice, as well as to women in general – it says that if you have the ability, commitment and talent, you can get to the top of your profession.” Out of the field of 117 applicants, 85 were men. The 12 new female senior counsel were chosen from a field of 32 women. Two out the 24 successful candidates in 2011 were women and 4 out of 20 in 2010. “More and more women are choosing to study law and, in fact, the number of women now studying law is greater than the number of men,” said Commissioner Broderick. “So this is a very encouraging result that is starting to reflect the gender balance of women entering the profession.” “In many professions, regardless of the number of women on the ground, the number of women in senior leadership positions is low, which can send a message to women considering promotion that success is illusive and difficult,” Commissioner Broderick said. “For women in the legal profession, particularly at the bar, results like these show that they can achieve at the highest levels.”