Articles on Women

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Three of the seven seats in the High Court of Australia will soon be filled by women judges. Lukas Coch/AAP

Two-for-one: a good new High Court judge, and a woman to boot

Now that women will make up 40% of High Court judges come June 2015, is gender now irrelevant? Hardly. Women have made up slightly less than 10% of all High Court judges in the court’s history.
In the past decade, the number of people ending up in South Australian prison cells has grown at seven times the rate of the state population. AAP/South Australian Correctional Services Department

State of imprisonment: South Australia’s prisoner numbers soar, with just 10% of budget for rehab

Since 2004, the number of prisoners in South Australia has risen seven times faster than the state's net population growth – and nearly doubled its rate of locking up Indigenous Australians.
Australian troops in France in the first world war – and one of Australia’s women medics, possibly Dr Laura Foster. Heather Sheard

The forgotten Australian women doctors of the Great War

More than 20 Australian women doctors defied official discouragement and served as surgeons and medical officers in the first world war.
The slow pre-dawn commute on the M5 from western Sydney is more than a pain for these drivers: it comes at a high social and economic cost. Dean Lewins/AAP

Sydney’s stuck in traffic, putting the brakes on women and the west

Our new analysis reveals nearly a third of full-time workers in Sydney commutes for more than 10 hours a week. Those workers are spending almost three full weeks a year just to get to and from work.
Sharon Stone, in Basic Instinct, dramatised the catastrophic actions of a clever yet unhinged woman. EPA/ Peter Foley

Assertive female sexuality is pathologised time and again

Mental illness and women’s sexuality are frequently aligned – on screen and off. The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, pathologised women’s sexuality. Indeed his definition of a woman as someone…
Women’s Liberation was a worldwide mobilisation that paved the way for powerful critiques of conventional thinking about gender, sexuality and identity. Warren K. Leffler, 1970/Library of Congress

Four decades of thinking gender: the gains, struggles and debates

The past four decades have produced gains around the world for women and girls in literacy, formal education, life expectancy, workforce participation and access to some professions. We have also seen…
Most multinationals still struggle with gender equality. Rawpixel image via Shutterstock

Can L'Oréal edge way forward for gender equality?

The US division of L’Oréal has recently gained a new gender equality certification. The Economic Dividends for Gender Equality (EDGE) certification is a way that companies can “prove” their credentials…
Driving ambulances in Belgium: better than knitting at home. www.gwpda.org/photos

Women volunteers: first to the war zone in 1914

The volunteer is at the heart of British perceptions of the World War I. We are all familiar with images of young men leaving home, standing in long queues at recruiting stations, and being examined by…
A modern rarity. Tulane Public Relations

No more excuses for the lack of women experts on air

Executives from four major news providers – BBC, ITN, Channel 4 and Sky – have pledged to try to improve the number of women interviewed as experts on their programmes; and this summer will be the test…
Without more investment in public housing, many homeless older women will have nowhere to go. EPA/Sergei Chirikov

Building funds cut even as older women swell ranks of homeless

Social services minister Kevin Andrews recently announced an extension of funding for the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness (NPAH) until June 30, 2015. This agreement funds 180 homelessness…
Director Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda a shocking omission from the Oscars. Daniel Dal Zennaro

Festivals and funding need to support female film directors

The Oscars aftermath has begun to die down for another year, and stars are perhaps now starting to get over their hangovers. The racial diversity of this year’s awards has been widely championed, but we…
Women in Poland stand up against violence. EPA/Bartolomiej Zborowski

The pitfalls of measuring violence against women

It was simultaneously heartening and dispiriting to see the release of a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the prevalence of violence against women in Europe. Dispiriting…
The participation of women in the Australian film and television industries hasn’t been steadily increasing in all fields. ABC

Glass ceilings smashing? We need quotas to close the gender gap

So Tony Abbott thinks women have “smashed just about every glass-ceiling” in Australia – and yet, the ceiling still bears down on many of us. During the recent G20 summit the managing director of the International…
Lupita Nyong'o won Best Supporting Actress at the 2014 Oscars. Paul Buck/EPA

The Academy Awards and racial diversity – what are the odds?

Oscars nominations and winners this year offered an unparalleled level of racial diversity. In the headline categories, Lupita Nyong’o won for Best Supporting Actress, Alfonso Cuarón was the first Mexican…

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