The open letter below was developed in consultation with feminist activists and is supported by the Coalition for a Feminist Agenda and Women Everywhere Advocating Violence Elimination. To add your name or organisation to the statement visit http://weaveinc.org.au/ * * * To our political leaders, political and media commentators, journalists and opinion formers in print, visual and audio media.
Thirty people attended a May 15 rally on the steps of South Australia’s Parliament House to protest the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill, also known as Jayden’s Law, introduced by Family First MP Robert Brokenshire, which was to be voted upon the next day. However, in the face of community concerns regarding the intentions and wording of the amendment and a campaign organised by the South Australian Feminist Collective (SAFC), Brokenshire has delayed the vote for several weeks.
In South Australia, where abortion is still legally considered a crime under the Criminal Act, women do not have the legal right to make their own reproductive choices. What we have now is tenuous and limited access to abortions through an underfunded healthcare system. Now, this access is under attack. Family First MP Robert Brokenshire has introduced into the SA upper house the Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Registration of Still-Births) Amendment Bill (also known as Jayden’s Law), which will be put to a vote on May 16.
The Vatican has attacked the largest group of American nuns for allegedly promoting radical feminism. It appointed a bishop to “reorganise” the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR). This is in stark contrast to how the church has handled its ongoing sexual abuse scandal among its men.
Women workers in the United States are attacking low pay and bias from many angles, assailing wage laws that exclude them, suing over outright discrimination and trying to organise unions. And they’ve been confronting the disrespect that accompanies smaller paychecks. The pay gap between men and women in the US actually shrank in 2011. Women now average 82.2% of men’s earnings ― but the numbers don’t indicate progress because all workers lost buying power.
Hundreds of people donned as much green as they could find on March 10 and crammed into the Irish Murphy’s pub in Brisbane to start their celebrations for St. Patrick’s Day a week early. But on the opposite street corner, about 80 women and their supporters gathered in recognition of the many injustices still faced by women in Australia and around the world today. Ana Borges from Women’s House opened the International Women's Day rally with a powerful statement that recognised the world of contradictions women live in, where their every move is subject to criticism by the status quo.
Melbourne, March 10. Photos by Chris Peterson
Anti-women campaigners in the Republican Party are dominating the discussion in mainstream politics and the Democrats' response has been to let them, says the February 29 Socialist Worker editorial that is reprinted below. * * * "Virginia is for lovers," goes the state's tourism motto. But if its right-wing politicians get their way, Virginia will be for turning women into human incubators.
The 2012 International Women's Day (IWD) march in Sydney, Australia, took place on March 10. Protesters marched from Town Hall to First Fleet Park near Circular Quay, where they held a IWD picnic. The rights or working women was a central theme of the event. The protest celebrated the Australian Services Union's court victory for equal pay for community sector workers. The Asian Women At Work contingent highlighted the rights of migrant workers rights.
Photos by Peter Boyle More than 500 women and their supporters marched through Sydney's CBD on March 10 for an International Women's Day protest.