Feminism

A debate about sexism erupted when female prime minister Julia Gillard attacked the opposition leader in Australian parliament for his misogynist attitudes. It was a reminder that even after all the advances in the past 40 years, many women still face high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault, they shoulder the burden of child care and housework, in the workforce they make up most casual and underpaid jobs while earning 70% of what men earn, and battle daily with sexism in culture and relationships.
The federal Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard filed a submission to Fair Work Australia (FWA) on November18, which backed away from its year-long commitment to support the Australian Services Union (ASU) application for an Equal Remuneration Order for social and community sector and disability workers. The government said it supported the principle of pay equity, and agreed community sector workers were underpaid, but its submission argued against granting equal pay to this historically exploited section of the workforce because of budget constraints.
All around the Western world, far-right groups (some with neo-Nazi links), are gaining political ground through an orchestrated campaign against Muslim communities. These groups are spreading fear and hatred against recent immigrant communities from Muslim countries, and tap into well-resourced post-9/11 war propaganda initiated by rulers of the world’s richest and most powerful states.
I welcome the discussion in Green Left Weekly about the burqa and the question of its banning. I agree wholeheartedly that banning the burqa is not the answer for women. As in all aspects of oppression, the oppressed are the ones who must liberate themselves, with the support and solidarity of others. It is not up to the state or religious institutions to impose “liberation” on them. While the burqa remains worn by women, I support their right to wear it if they choose, for a variety of different reasons.
Never Ever Again By Caroline de Costa Boolarong Press, 2010 www.carolinedecosta.com A teenager and her boyfriend are catapulted to national notoriety when they are charged with procuring an abortion under Queensland’s archaic Criminal Code. Their identities are plastered across the internet, their home is fire-bombed and religious zealots shriek triumphantly from the pages of the local rag. Is this Caroline de Costa’s latest novel? Think again. Welcome to Cairns in 2010.
You have been reported in the media as preferring to be judged by your actions rather than as a woman. I congratulate you! This is what all women want: to be judged on their merits not on the basis of gender. An activist of “the second wave” of feminism, I have been fighting (along with my sisters) against sexism in the workplace and the broader community for more than 40 years.

With speaker Anna Hush, Director of End Rape on Campus Australia. An inspiring film about the brilliant, often outrageous women who founded the feminist movement of the 1960s. They said 'the personal is political' and made a revolution: in the bedroom, in the workplace, in all spheres of life. 

Friday, March 15, 6:30pm (meal from 6pm). Celebrate International (Working) Women's Day and pay tribute to the second wave feminist activists. Filmmaker Mary Dore chronicles the events, the movers and the shakers of the feminist movement from 1966 to 1971. Screening followed by short discussion. $10/$5. Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Hosted by Green Left Weekly.

Friday, March 15, 6:30pm (meal from 6pm). Celebrate International (Working) Women's Day and pay tribute to the second wave feminist activists. Filmmaker Mary Dore chronicles the events, the movers and the shakers of the feminist movement from 1966 to 1971. Screening followed by short discussion. $10/$5. Resistance Centre, Level 5, 407 Swanston St, City (opposite RMIT). Hosted by Green Left Weekly.

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