The world’s largest workforce is on call 24-hours-a-day and receives no wages. Domestic workers and carers for children, ageing or ill members of society or those with disabilities are usually women living within family units. They are most often the partners, mothers or daughters of the people for whom they provide this care. Most of these tasks are performed out of love for their family members. But female carers and domestic workers are often deprived of freedom of choice in their living and working conditions.
Laurel Walker and Vanna Lockwood, teachers at St Peters Community Preschool, are involved in the Independent Education Union's campaign for pay parity for early childhood teachers. Lockwood told Green Left Weekly: "Current scientific research on the development of the brain advocates the importance of a child's early years. Four-year university trained teachers are choosing not to work in early childhood because of the low pay and low status of the profession.
I do not support women being forced to wear the burqa. I see it as one manifestation of the myriad of ways women are oppressed in this patriarchal society. But I want to make it clear that I do not support a ban on the wearing of a burqa. Banning the wearing of a burqa would simply mean that the person who wears it — voluntarily or otherwise — is criminalised. It would not, as some female supporters of the ban argue, help women extricate themselves from patriarchal control over their lives.
Public displays of sexual desire, sex and agency are almost synonymous with the broad Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) rights movement. Positive displays of queer sexuality challenge narrow and dominant ideas about "acceptable" sex and sexuality. They play an important role in the struggle for democratic rights and against persecution; and in exploring sexual pleasure and desire. Sections of the women's liberation movement investigate and promote women's sexuality and sexual pleasure for similar reasons.
Sydney is the “sex capital” of Australia, said an article in the November 12 Daily Telegraph, which called the city the “Amsterdam of the South Pacific”. The article reported recent figures from the Government Interagency Brothels Taskforce that showed 271 legal brothels in the state, as well as claims that “the industry is being infiltrated by organised crime”. The figures, which were labelled “shocking”, were blamed on “dysfunctional planning laws and legislation” by one figure quoted.
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.
Pope Benedict XVI has told a German journalist that condom use can be justified in some cases to help stop the spread of AIDS. News of the Pope’s historic new stance was first posted online on November 20 in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper.
Freedom or at least women’s freedom is still defined by men’s perspective. There’s still a patriarchal attitude towards the woman’s independent decision making. Society’s attitude towards women’s religious beliefs are defined by patriarchal values. So if we happen to cover ourselves it must be because of the men who control us, not our own choice or beliefs. If we claim that we follow our own faith, it must be us who is brainwashed by a patriarchal society — but not a patriarchal society that tries to rip our headscarves off.
When the Victorian Parliament decriminalised abortion two years ago, the battle was finally over, right? Then why is the Fertility Control Clinic in East Melbourne still targeted by anti-abortion zealots? And why, after five years, has Melbourne City Council started harassing clinic defenders, potentially handing a victory to those same zealots?
"When I was 15, I remember going to parties and being really uncomfortable when someone put on porn. Porn told me how, as a woman, I needed to look, act and experience sex; and that people found women being treated this way funny or arousing rather than frightening." — Anonymous. Porn reflects ideas about what is considered explicit and arousing. But the meaning of "porn" is altered by historic, cultural and economic contexts.