Articles on Gender

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Zimbabweans wait to vote in last year’s referendum that approved a new constitution providing for gender equality in political representation. EPA/Aaron Ufumeli

Women keep democracy’s heart beating in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe

Democracy in Zimbabwe is a troubled creature. Yet Zimbabwean women are leading the way with a democratic agenda that offers inspiration, instruction and, indeed, a critique for Australian democracy. Oxfam’s…
Without data, we don’t know the actual size of sex and gender diverse populations. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Norrie’s gender win brings us closer to knowing who we are

The landmark ruling this week by the High Court – that the New South Wales Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages must recognise a third category of non-specific sex in addition to male and female – represents…
Progress on fair gender representation in judicial appointments has been slow. AAP/Michael Milnes

‘Missing’ female judges all but invisible in Queensland row

Queenslanders have been subjected to a barrage of media coverage of state attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie going public with a private conversation he had with the President of the Court of Appeal, Margaret…
The high court has ruled that New South Wales must allow Norrie to legally identify as having a non-specific gender. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Why Norrie’s court victory is a leap forward for everyone

Have you ever asked yourself why institutions continue to demand that we identify ourselves as male or female on every form? What difference does gender make to my bank account, to the tax office, or to…
Is there anything to prove the argument that results improve when genders are separated? www.shutterstock.com.au

Single-sex schooling relies on myths of higher achievement

In many countries including Australia, gender-segregated instruction is common. Differing structures of single-sex education are offered in both independent and state schools, because it is believed to…
Violence against women cuts across cultural and socioeconomic divides, but certain aspects of class do have a bearing on developing effective strategies of prevention. buttet/Shutterstock

Gender, culture and class collude in violence against women

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Anastasia Powell considers the role of class in the complex of contributing factors…
Women who are suddenly forced to rely entirely on insecure part-time work can find themselves rapidly sliding out of the middle class. Daria Filimonova/Shutterstock

Eviction from the middle class: how tenuous jobs penalise women

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Veronica Sheen discusses how insecure jobs can cause women in midlife to tumble…
Mary Beard dreads the idea of a fixed quota of women on television panels. John Stillwell/PA

Masculine banter is the problem with unbalanced comedy panels

Mary Beard, talking to the Radio Times, has been the latest to jump into the debate triggered by BBC head of television Danny Cohen’s decree that there should be no more all-male gatherings on the corporation’s…
Should sexuality play a central role in constructing our own identity? MTC, photo Jeff Busby

Review: Cock

British playwright Mike Bartlett’s contemporary comedy of manners Cock opened on the Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) main stage last week. Highly anticipated after winning an Olivier Award with its London…
Julia Gillard and Helen Clark supposedly suffered from a problem with their leadership style - and so, it seems, does every other woman in a position of power. AAP/David Foote

Sex and power in New Zealand: stalled at the crossroads?

Historically, geographically, culturally – there are many points of comparison between Australia and its neighbour to the east, New Zealand. But there are notable differences. This week, The Conversation…
Masculinity must be learned and there are severe consequences for not upholding it. Vladimir Byazrov

Time for a step-change in how we view men on the dancefloor

On Sunday, So You Think You Can Dance Australia returned to Channel Ten, promising spectacular performances from male and female dancers around the country. And yet, in the non-TV world, it seems the men…
Torah Bright is one of many Australian women competing in the Winter Olympics and challenging perceptions about women in sport. AAP Image/Julian Smith

Australian women show the way to equality at the Winter Olympics

The London 2012 Summer Olympic Games were declared the “women’s games” – with female participation in all sports and every nation represented by at least one female athlete. Although the Sochi 2014 Winter…
Muscular women such as Serena Williams issue a challenge to received ideas about femininity. AAP Image/Dave Hunt

Why do we find muscular women wildly perplexing?

We don’t see many muscular women in popular culture – and the display of much heavier and obviously stronger female bodies can be overwhelming or shocking. Professional tennis playing sisters Serena and…
Lupita Nyong'o and Alfre Woodard star in Steve McQueen’s new biopic. Chris Pizzello/AP

A life more terrible: the women of 12 Years a Slave

The United States was in the middle of a civil war 150 years ago and, while Abraham Lincoln had just issued the emancipation proclamation, it would still be another 18 months until freedom finally came…

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