Feminism

The federal government’s budget is a huge economic, social and ideological attack on women. At its heart are government spending cuts aimed directly at depriving working-class women of the means for economic independence. A report released last week by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) said low-income households headed by women will bear the heaviest burden under the changes proposed in the budget.
Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. The march in Sydney was bigger than the March In March demonstration. Peter Boyle, who took the photos below, estimates it was about 15,000-strong. He said: "It stretched more than two and half times the distance between Central Station and Victoria Park (where it ended). The recent horror budget angered many and the crowd overwhelmingly demanded that the opposition parties block the budget in the Senate -- where they have the numbers until July."
Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. Despite having been called only four days before, thousands took to the streets in Melbourne to take part in the 'Bust the budget' march. The photos below are by Ali Bakhtiarvandi and Tony Iltis. See also photos from the Sydney and Perth March in May demonstrations. Photos by Ali Bakhtiarvandi:
March in May rally

Tens of thousands marched against Abbott government in six cities around Australia on May 18. In Perth, Alex Bainbridge reports more than 2000 people took part.

Joyce Stevens was born on January 6, 1928 and was 87 when she died on May 6. She was the third child in a family of four children, with two older brothers and a younger sister, Lorna, who survives her. Her father was a railway fettler and her mother had been a nurse. The family lived in country NSW and Joyce enjoyed some of the pleasures and freedoms of country children. She moved to Sydney with her mother and two of her siblings when she was 14.
More than 270 female secondary students were kidnapped on April 14 as they sat matriculation exams in the north-east Nigerian town of Chibok. The kidnappers were members of a religious cult that calls itself Jama‘at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da‘wa wal-Jihad — Arabic for Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad. The group is more commonly known by its Hausa nickname, Boko Haram, which translate — very loosely — as “Western education is filthy”, although this is not a name that the group itself uses.
Kavita Krishnan is a central leader of the Communist Party of India―Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) and editor of its magazine Liberation. A former leader of the All India Students Association (AISA), Krishnan is joint secretary of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), which is active among women workers and agricultural labourers, and has led struggles for the dignity and rights of Dalit (lower caste) women, and against state repression.
I have recently celebrated my 69th birthday. I have three adult sons, six grand children and one great grandchild, all of whom I love dearly. Last December marked 51 years since I was married and next month will be 30 years since I finally left the marriage. Despite the research I have done, together with almost five years of counselling, I still suffer from the impact of 20 years of domestic violence. I have been diagnosed as suffering from a form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
More than 1000 people gathered in Sunshine in Melbourne’s west on April 22, to pay their respects to Fiona Warzywoda, a mother of four who was murdered in public after she attended a court hearing in relation to family violence matters. Local resident Sophie Dutertre organised a silent candlelight vigil to show support. Dutertre did nott know the victim but wanted to take a public stand against yet another domestic violence-related murder and also demonstrate that Sunshine has a strong and caring community.
Since Australian women rallied for “free, safe, accessible abortion on demand” 40 years ago, much has been achieved. Legal reform of some kind has taken place in most states and territories. There is Medicare funding for pregnancy termination, mifepristone is available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and women no longer suffer the complications from illegal “backyard” operations. Yet there are still obstacles for women to access affordable pregnancy termination services in a timely manner.
Je yang camp, located a 30 minutes drive on often unpaved or rocky road from Laiza, the capital of rebels in Kachin State in northern Burma, accommodates about 8000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). The wild landscape around the camp suggests the scenery would have been far more stunning without the presence of humans.
In New South Wales, politicians have been debating a bill known as “Zoe's Law”, originally introduced by Christian Democratic Party’s Fred Nile. Zoe’s Law aim to give legal rights to foetuses older than 20 weeks or weighing more than 400 grams. The law opens up the possibility of a pregnant woman being charged for damaging her own foetus.