Women’s Rights

After Eurydice, what should men do?

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I get off the train in the darkness, and see a woman. She is smaller than me. Most are. She strides with purpose – upright, head on a swivel – seemingly alone, with only her “situational awareness” for company. Konrad Marshall The Age She would have seen me, too. I’m the big stranger behind her, leaning into the wind, dressed all in black – boots, hat, coat, with a beard. She moves quickly, but in the same direction I’m headed. ... Read More »

To design safer parks for women, city planners must listen to their stories

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The rape and murder of aspiring comedian Eurydice Dixon in an inner-city Melbourne park – while deeply shocking – is part of an avalanche of gendered violence perpetrated against women in cities every day. Dr. Nicole Kalms The Conversation Nothing can protect women from the random acts of violence committed by some men but engaging with the stories of women and girls is crucial for making cities safer. Planners, architects, the police and politicians need to put aside the traditional ... Read More »

Greer is right to say rape law has failings, but wrong to suggest its decriminalisation

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Germaine Greer is a provocateur of long standing. Her recent comments about rape enhance that reputation. Authors: The Conversation We accept Greer’s premise: rape law has profound and persistent failings. The #metoo movement has made vivid what rape researchers already know: rape is common. While reports to Australian police have risen, reporting and conviction rates remain low. Greer claims proving rape is too difficult, and rape without physical injury doesn’t warrant prosecution. However, her account of the harm of rape ... Read More »

Forced marriage convictions are welcome but for many victims stigma is still judge and jury

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In the four years since a change in the law regarding forced marriages in England and Wales, there have been two cases where parents have been convicted of forcing their daughters to marry by taking them out of the… Geetanjali Gangoli The Conversation One case, in Birmingham in May 2018, involved taking a daughter to Pakistan, the other – in Leeds, also in May 2018 – involved a couple luring their daughter to Bangladesh for a… These were the first ... Read More »

Northern Ireland abortion debate LIVE: ‘We don’t protect women by criminalising them’, MP Stella Creasy says

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MPs from all sides call for legal reform to give women right to choose Benjamin Kentish anf Peter Stubley Independent MPs are debating lifting the Northern Ireland abortion ban after Labour backbencher Stella Creasy was granted permission for an emergency debate. The motion relates to repealing the Offences Against the People Act, which initially outlawed abortion. It follows the Republic of Ireland’s referendum on abortion, which saw 66 per cent of voters back lifting the ban in that country. The three-hour debate could culminate ... Read More »

Why the Supreme Court’s ‘gay wedding cake’ ruling won’t resolve religious freedom issues

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The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the justices sided with a Denver bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. David Mislin The Conversation The couple took the case to court in 2012 after the Christian baker turned down their business. A lower court ruled the baker violated Colorado’s public accommodations law, which forbids discrimination by businesses serving the ... Read More »

Domestic violence perpetrators praise police program helping them to change

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Domestic violence perpetrators on the Sunshine Coast are crediting a collaborative police program with turning their lives around and changing their behaviour. ABC Sunshine Coast By Kylie Bartholomew Michael* ended up in DV Court after an incident in which his partner “got injured”. “The love had gone, the kids were suffering, my partner was suffering, everyone in the house was suffering actually,” he told ABC’s Focus program. His first encounter with officers from the Sunshine Coast’s Vulnerable Persons Unit (VPU) ... Read More »

The female tradie shortage: why real change requires a major cultural shift

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The number of women in the manual trades in Australia has barely budged in the last 20 years. Authors: The Conversation While lower-skilled and lower-paid jobs like hairdressing have increased the number of women being employed, manual trades like electricians, carpenters and mechanics have remained at incredibly low levels. Women make up just 3% of those employed in the electrotechnology and telecommunications trades, and only 1% of those working in construction, engineering and automotive trades. Governments, industries and education providers ... Read More »

‘It doesn’t change a damn thing here or anywhere else’

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A few weeks ago, I was dawdling around my university campus when I stumbled upon a string of familiar posters. Eleanor Kirk Brisnane Times They were familiar because I had seen the same image and slogan posted, shared and re-tweeted by almost every left-wing American celebrity I follow on social media: March For Our Lives. This wasn’t the first time I had seen posters that focused on political issues far from home. A year and a half earlier, the same ... Read More »

Britain’s May refuses to relax Northern Ireland abortion rules

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London: British Prime Minister Theresa May faces a showdown with ministers and lawmakers in her Conservative party after refusing to back reform of Northern Ireland’s highly restrictive abortion rules after… Andrew MacAskill The Age Voters in Ireland, a once deeply Catholic nation, backed the change by two-to-one, a far higher margin than any opinion poll in the run up to the vote had predicted. The prime minister is facing calls from within her cabinet and from opposition parties to scrap the ... Read More »

Is abortion legal in Australia? It’s complicated

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Ireland has just voted on whether to lift the country’s controversial ban on abortion. Olivia Willis ABC But in Australia, whether or not abortion is legal depends on where you live — as does the cost and availability of the procedure. And that’s because abortion laws are made by state and territory governments, not the Federal Government. Abortion in Australia: A snapshot It is estimated between a quarter to a third of Australian women will choose to terminate a pregnancy ... Read More »

Irish abortion referendum: Ireland overturns abortion ban

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The Republic of Ireland has voted overwhelmingly to overturn the abortion ban by 66.4% to 33.6%. A referendum held on Friday resulted in a landslide win for the repeal side. BBC Currently, abortion is only allowed when a woman’s life is at risk, but not in cases of rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormality. The Eighth Amendment, which grants an equal right to life to the mother and unborn, will be replaced. The declaration was made at at Dublin Castle ... Read More »

A big day for Ireland. A huge day for women

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Tonight, our time, Ireland will head to the polls in a groundbreaking referendum that could dramatically increase access to abortion for the country’s citizens. Clementine Ford Brisbane Times Ireland currently suffers under some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws, with the procedure completely illegal in all circumstances except those in which the mother’s life is at substantial risk. But the vote to repeal the 8th amendment is hopefully set to change all that The history of the 8th amendment ... Read More »

Let’s criminalise the men buying sex, and spare the women they exploit

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A new report lays bare the brutal realities of life for sex workers in Britain. The law must now change to protect them Sophie Walker The Guardian ”You know when you buy something and it doesn’t work properly, the first thing you will do is pick it up and shake it. The same principle applies to prostitution. If your mouth isn’t open wide enough or your throat isn’t deep enough. So you are always at risk of being raped or ... Read More »

Reporting my sexual assault was horrific but healing. Here’s what I learned

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Few women who survive a sexual attack make a formal complaint. For Eggshell Skull author Bri Lee, it’s about justice The Guardian Ιt will take a long time and there’s no rushing it. For me (and for others I’ve spoken to), the decision to finally make an official police complaint about a sex offence wasn’t so much a “lightbulb moment” as the gradual knocking away at a tall wall with a small mallet, brick by brick. Not just any old ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »