Articles on Gender

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EasyJet boss Carolyn McCall is one of few women at the top of UK business. Steve Parsons/PA

The evidence is clear: firms do better with women on board

In the UK, women make up just just 17.3% of FTSE 100 companies’ board members. This puts the UK 5th in the world behind Norway, Sweden, Finland and France. Things are certainly improving: 44% of new appointments…
The binary categories of male and female don’t align with the reality that sex and gender may be fluid. Keoni Cabral

Beyond male and female: time for a non-specific sex category

Earlier this month the High Court indicated it was prepared to hear a legal case that tests the ability of intersex Australians to be legally recognised as being neither male or female. The High Court…
An excerpt from Alison Bechdel’s comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For (1985). Wikimedia

What the Bechdel test doesn’t tell us about women on film

Four cinemas in Sweden recently pledged to rate films based on whether they pass what is known as the “Bechdel test,” a means of evaluating gender bias in film, named after American graphic artist Alison…
Aborting a foetus just because of its sex seems repugnant to most of us. Shutterstock

What should we do about sex-selective abortion?

A Melbourne doctor is being investigated by the medical professional standards body for refusing to refer a woman to another GP after she sought an abortion. The case raises important questions about doctors…
Women who take time off research to have children face funding obstacles when returning to the workforce. Cia de Foto

Six steps to fairer funding for female scientists

A glass ceiling remains in place for female medical research scientists in Australia. Although approximately 50% of PhD students and postdoctoral scientists are female, males run the majority of research…
Emotional fallout: undervalued, paid less and under pressure to look good. Christine Cassis

Women suffer more from mental illness but it suits us to ignore it

Martin Baggaley pulled no punches last week in his assessment of the dire state of mental health. The Medical Director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust said the system was in crisis, inefficient…
Gender justice: women take more prominent roles on ICC than other courts. ICC-CPI

Justice for women depends on International Criminal Court

The African Union will hold a summit from October 11-13 to consider a mass withdrawal of the 34 African member states of the International Criminal Court (ICC). This would be in response to the trials…
A twerking, tongue-poking Miley Cyrus at the Video Music Awards in Brooklyn earlier this year. Does the pop singer represent third wave feminism? EPA/Jason Szenes

Miley Cyrus, Sinéad O’Connor and the future of feminism

Since her tongue-poking and “twerk”-filled performance at the American Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus has been the subject of intense media discussion. This has only magnified in the past week, after…
Prissy girls and macho boys. jodigreen

Violence against women starts with school stereotypes

Gender-based violence is a deeply embedded problem in many societies and cultures. Despite this, efforts to challenge it are rarely seen at a primary school level. There is a perception that children aged…
Liberal politician Sophie Mirabella, who is likely to lose her Victorian seat of Indi, has been subjected to the misogyny that continues to pervade Australian politics. AAP/Alan Porritt

Mirabella and gender: vicious attacks show nothing’s changed

Hard-faced. I’m looking at that phrase and wondering exactly what it means. Of course, I know what it means when it’s applied to men. They are heroic, they’ve seen things that those of us who are more…
Many of the issues women face are the result of the broken work patterns that stem from juggling work and child rearing. Image from shutterstock.com

Applying a gender lens to the 2013 election campaign

Most Australians are aware of the Coalition’s signature policy on paid parental leave. But how are the parties addressing the other issues that concern Australian women in this election? A recent survey…
Tony Abbott may have subconsciously revived the gender debate in Australian politics when he asked if Kevin Rudd ever ‘shuts up’ in last night’s debate. AAP/Alan Porritt

Don’t these guys ever shut up? How Tony Abbott reignited the gender debate without realising it

Opposition leader Tony Abbott seems to have done the job. Some judges reckon the Oxford boxing blue endured nothing worse than a split decision points loss. Others credit him with delivering a “knockout…
What do the various responses to Tony Abbott’s ‘sex appeal’ comment say about the role of gender in politics? AAP/Alan Porritt

She’s got it: responses to Tony Abbott’s ‘sex appeal’ comments

Since opposition leader Tony Abbott’s self-described “daggy dad” comments about Liberal candidate Fiona Scott’s sex appeal, gender issues have re-emerged in Australian politics. Labor frontbenchers claim…
The Christian Democratic Party has claimed that Mum & Dad taxpayers are getting a bad deal.

FactCheck: do same-sex couples earn 29% more?

“Same sex couples earn 29% more money than male-female couples. Mum and Dad taxpayers are the most oppressed Australians in our economy. Christian Democrats will change that.” – Fred Nile - Official Christian…
British journalist Caroline Criado-Perez (far right) has been the latest victim of vitriolic online abuse. EPA/Bloomberg

Fighting back against gender hate, one tweet at a time

Germaine Greer once wrote that women have no idea how much men hate them. Thanks to the internet, now we do. - @PennyRed Since the 1990s, some social commentators have declared that we live in a post-feminist…
Time to give pink toys the pink slip. Dollyclaire

There’s no good reason to push pink toys on girls

You only have to walk down the aisle of a toy shop to see that young girls really love pink. This has some parents worried. They are concerned that pink is bad for their daughters. One engineer in the…
Andy Murray ponders the heteronormativity of Centre Court. Not enough megapixels

Game, sex, match: the gender politics of Wimbledon

On a weekend like this, tennis stars like Andy Murray are the nation’s biggest stars. In many ways, sportspeople are no different from any other celebrities - be they reality TV stars, rock stars or film…
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…

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