Articles on Gender

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In most of our workplaces and institutions there are subtle, cumulative, insidious judgements and responses that serve to reinforce the powerful status quo of leadership. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Is this the end of the gender wars?

Accounts in the media over the past week explain, or rather rationalise, the downfall of our first female Prime Minister. One-time feminist warrior Eva Cox found that Julia Gillard failed to communicate…
Julia Gillard has taken Tony Abbott and the Liberals to task for gender bias, but what about her own stance on gay marriage? AAP/Lukas Coch

As a gay man, I will not be lectured on discrimination by Julia Gillard

Julia Gillard has had a rough few days. More accurately weeks, well, months. Let’s face it, years. And at the centre of so many of her travails has been debate about her gender. She’s been called a witch…
While young women are rising through Australian media ranks, the old glass ceiling remains. Woman reporter image from www.shutterstock.com

Women overtake men in the media, but not in pay or power

Women now outnumber men in the Australian media, but they are typically younger, earn less and have less powerful positions than male colleagues. A new national survey shows women now make up 55.5% of…
Australia should use its new power on the UN Security Council to make sure women are high on the UN agenda. UNIFEM

On the ‘big table’ of the Security Council, Australia must champion the cause of women

Australia has always taken a lead role in international security debates at the United Nations. In Canberra, representatives from civil society organisations will meet with the government to discuss Australia’s…
Women need to play a greater role at the top of Australia’s art institutions. Man in gallery image from www.shutterstock.com

Why are so many arts organisations run by blokes?

One of my favourite paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales is Emanuel Phillips Fox’s Art Students. It’s particularly notable because all the Melbourne Art School students pictured are women. In…
Timing sex around ovulation doesn’t change the odds of having a boy or girl. Image from shutterstock.com

Monday’s medical myth: you can control the sex of your baby

Despite most parents ultimately just wishing for a healthy baby, there are many cultural and social factors that can drive the desire for a baby of a particular sex. The medical technology for sex selection…
The inclination to see differences between men and women makes us blind to their similarities. Daniele Civello

Gender differences: more fictions than fact?

We see gender differences everywhere – in the psychology, thoughts and behaviour of men and women. But the inclination to see differences makes us blind to the overwhelming similarities of men and women…
In species such as the jacana, above, females desert the eggs as soon as they are laid. Rainbirder

Role reversal: adult sex ratio leads to ‘gender-bending’ birds

Why do some species exhibit patterns of reversed gender roles? That question was addressed in a Nature Communications paper published yesterday. Typically in animals, females tend to invest more in caring…
From hire to liar: honesty is not always the best policy in workplace negotiations. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Sweet little lies: how men and women use deception in negotiations

Negotiations, by their nature, tempt individuals into an ethical slide. Even the most principled negotiator would consider it acceptable to withhold some information from an opponent, just as a self-protective…
Ageing men are seen as an especially lucrative niche sector. Sean MacEntee

What to make of modern medicine’s attention to men

Women have long been subject to intrusive biomedical interventions. And the control that modern medicine exerts over women’s bodies has been the focus of much feminist activism. Men are usually seen as…
Prime Minister Julia Gillard in parliament - has the Slipper resignation cost her political momentum? AAP/Alan Porritt

Sinking the Slipper: Labor is its own worst enemy

The Gillard government could have been forgiven for believing an electoral renaissance was underway. But just as it appeared the prime minister was going to cruise to the end of the year, the government…
Julia Gillard attacked Tony Abbott’s past comments about women in a passionate speech during Question Time. AAP/Lukas Coch

Julia Gillard hits back at a long history of sexism in parliament

Peter Slipper has resigned. The sexist text messages mentioning female genitalia published as part of a civil court case were suddenly the bridge too far for Her Majesty’s Opposition. But the Opposition…
Tony Abbott greets Liberal MP Kelly O'Dwyer before an event in Melbourne. Does the Opposition Leader have an issue with women? AAP/David Crosling

Tony Abbott and women: how both sides have played the gender card

In a discussion with ABC journalist Emma Alberici on Lateline last week, Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer defended Tony Abbott from attacks by Labor ministers who criticised his attitudes towards women. In the…
South African athlete Caster Semenya was subject to gender testing following the 2009 athletics world championships. EPA/Kim Ludbrook

Beyond ‘men’ and ‘women’: the fraught issue of Olympic gender testing

In June, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that some athletes at the London Olympics, though legally female, may be subject to testing to see if their bodies produce an above-average quantity…
Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella has been criticised for her failure to respond when GetUp director Simon Sheikh collapsed on Q+A. ABC Television

Sophie Mirabella shouldn’t be attacked for failing to emote

By 9AM yesterday I’d been called a Sophie Mirabella apologist. Of all the very many slurs I’ve ever been subjected to, that one came as one hell of a surprise. And I just thought I was defending every…
We need to take a better look at the role women can play in the Millenium Devlopment Goals. AAP/EPA/Harish Tyagi

Challenge 11: How improving women’s status helps us all

In part 11 of the multi-disciplinary Millennium Project series, Danielle Logue and Mel Dunn note the striking absence of male voices in discussions of women’s empowerment, despite it being fundamental…
Two-thirds more men than women have been paid for sex in Australia, and all sex workers have rights. Jason Pier in DC

Make room for sex workers in the sisterhood … and don’t forget men

When one reads an opinion piece littered with references to “liberal elites”, it is usually a safe bet that one is reading an inherently conservative point of view dressed up to look progressive. So it…

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