women's liberation

This statement was released by Socialist Alliance on March 8. *** The demands of the first-ever International Women's Day rally in Australia, in 1928, were equal pay for equal work, an eight-hour day for shop assistants, the basic wage for the unemployed and annual holidays on full pay. A lot has been won through struggle since 1928, yet women in Australia today still have to struggle some of these issues:
“The Stain” is the name of a photo exhibition by Turkish artist A. Suderin Murat, which looks at the issue of violence against women. Coinciding with International Women’s Day, the exhibition will be open to the public from March 4-10 at the Auburn Town Hall Exhibition Gallery. For many years, Murat has campaigned against all kinds of discrimination. She considers art to be “the most effective and peaceful tool” for helping society.
The federal Coalition has used the alleged sexual assault of a young woman on Macquarie University to call for increased monitoring of asylum seekers. Police have charged a Tamil asylum seeker with the attack, which allegedly took place when the man broke into the woman’s room and put a hand down her pyjama pants while she was asleep. He fled when she woke up and screamed.

It has been a colossal past year for women’s rights, with global and local attention flaring across a range of horrific individual tragedies and broader issues, including sexual assault and violence against women, the ongoing gendered disparity in income, and the debate on misogyny. In Melbourne, Jill Meagher’s abduction and murder lead to about 30,000 people rallying in Brunswick, while the Reclaim the Night march drew a crowd of 5000 people to Sydney Road in a huge public declaration that “Enough is enough”.

A professional athlete; a home with an arsenal of firearms; a dead young woman involved in a long-term relationship with her killer. In November, her name was Kasanda Perkins and the man who shot her was Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher. Now her name is Reeva Steenkamp, killed by Olympic sprinter and double amputee Oscar “the Blade Runner” Pistorius.
This is an extract from a zine written by Resistance members. You can pick up a copy from a Resistance stall on campus during Orientation week. *** Like any other day, a female student is on her way to campus. As she rides her bike down the main road, a head pops out a moving car window and yells out to her: “Nice legs!” Later that day she receives a text from one of the men in her group assessment task who she barely knows: “Hey beautiful we should definitely have a beer sometime ;)”.
This was a speech given to a One Billion Rising event in Sydney on February 14. *** I'd like to welcome you all here tonight. I'm a Kairi and Badjula woman, so I can't do a welcome to country, but I can do an acknowledgement. So I'd like to acknowledge that this celebration is taking place on the stolen lands of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. The Gadigal people were the first to endure the impact of invasion and as a result their communities were decimated. Invasion was a violent process, though history has tried to cleanse it was with the word colonisation.
About 100 people rallied in Sydney on February 5 to oppose the Julia Gillard government's slashing of welfare payments to single parents. Single parents, their kids, and their supporters joined in the action. Event organiser Samantha Seymour said: "Moving single parents from Parenting Payment to Newstart Allowance when their youngest child turns 8 years of age will have many well documented negative impacts for single parent families. Such changes will have a ripple effect and the social ramifications are already horrendous."
Fifty years ago, on February 13, 1963, the publication of US writer and activist Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique sparked a new awakening in the thinking of women across North America. Friedan denounced the repression women suffered in the aftermath of World War II, when they were forced out of wartime jobs and convinced to accept the role of keepers of the home. Profiteers of the market launched an unrelenting but subtle propaganda campaign to venerate women as wife and mother. This role, Friedan said, was the “feminine mystique”.
Indian socialist feminist Kavita Krishnan spoke to Green Left TV's Pip Hinman about the new movement against gender violence in India. Kavita is Secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) and has been a leading activists in the campaign that has swept India (and beyond) since the brutal gang rape of a woman student in Delhi in a public bus. The woman, badly injured in the attack, died two weeks later despite being flown to Singapore for treatment. Her male companion, who was also severely assaulted, survived. Six suspects are being tried.

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