Gender News

Here's a snapshot of some of what we've been reading this week ... 

Gender News, 22-28 May

1. Women have been hurt most by COVID-19's economic crash. The Canberra Times. 29 May

Jenna Price on the impact of COVID on women and submissions to the government inquiry into the pandemic, including the Snap Forward Feminist Policy Network's submission. 

2.Stress in COVID-19 era: young women worst affected. The Age. 29 May

The younger the woman the more likely she was to report high levels of stress, anxiety and financial strife at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

3. Mothers leaving work during pandemic could widen the gender pay gap. Bloomberg. 27 May.

Women’s gains in the labor market and efforts to reduce the gender pay gap are being undermined by the lockdown, according to studies from the Institute of Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education.

4. Evangelicals paid Roe vs Wade plaintiff to publicly oppose abortion rights. Ms. 27 May.

Norma McCorvey was Jane Roe in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade that legalised abortion in the US. On a deathbed confession she reveals she was paid by the anti-abortion movement over many years to lobby for their movement.

5. Women are more likely to receive white lies in performance reviews. HRD. 26 May.

Underperforming female employees are more likely to receive kinder – albeit inaccurate – evaluations of their work than their male counterparts.

6. Increased care work, reduced wages: Informal women workers barely getting by. The Wire. 25 May

In India, COVID-19 is intensifying pre-existing inequalities, from health to the economy, and from security to social protection. As ever, women continue to bear the maximum brunt.

7. The many faces of the wine Mom. The Atlantic. 23 May

She’s a mother and she drinks wine. Technically, that’s all it takes to join the ranks of “wine moms,” and yet the phrase has come to represent so much more than motherhood and wine enjoyment.

8. Coronavirus may push 31 million women into unemployment and knock $1 trillion from world GDP. Business Insider. 25 May.

Analysts say that globally there are 220 million women working in “vulnerable sectors”. Overall there are 44 million workers at risk of losing their jobs because of the pandemic, with 31 million of these being women, and 13 million being men.

9. I’m a Harvard professor and mum. This is why childcare is essential for working parents. Fast Company. 25 May.

A Harvard professor observes, “A lot of good, hardworking parents feel enduring guilt over a problem that isn’t theirs alone to solve.”

10. Domestic violence victims on temporary visas need urgent protections. ABC. 24 May.

Domestic violence victims on temporary visas are being trapped in dangerous situations because they are unable to access crucial support, experts say, and the coronavirus pandemic appears to be exacerbating their plight.

11. Jacinda Ardern sold a drastic lockdown with straight talk and mom jokes. NYTimes. 23 May.

Leading New Zealand from isolation, Ms. Ardern coaxed her “team of five million” into accepting extreme restrictions. But the lessons of her success go beyond personality or charm.

12. I had to choose being a mother with no childcare or summer camps: women are being edged out of the workforce. The Lily. 22 May

When parents can’t do it all, women’s paid labor is often the first to go.



Added extra


Women at Work: Working through menopause. Harvard Business Review.

Gender News, 15-21 May

1. Senate inquiry into domestic abuse closes early without submissions or a single hearing. Women’s Agenda. 21 May.

A Senate committee created to examine domestic violence has wrapped up three months ahead of schedule. It did not seek a single submission or hold a single hearing. It is hard to imagine a more insulting and inadequate response to a national crisis.

2. Snapping back to the childcare subsidy method is nuts. It should not be a system that profits. The Guardian. 20 May.

Free childcare has come at the expense of educators, but too many people have become unemployed for us to go back to the old way.

3. Australian boards are male and stale. AFR. 20 May. (Paywall)

Despite a hefty increase in the number of female board members over the past five years, the directors of Australia's biggest 300 companies remain largely male and pale.

4. New tool to measure gender bias in the workplace may help finally eliminate it. The Conversation. 19 May.

A new way to measure the causes and magnitude of gender bias against women leaders in the workplace should make it easier to identify the sources of this kind of sexism and even help eliminate it.

5. I don’t feel like buying stuff anymore. Buzzfeed. 19 May.

Our economies are built on us buying things. What happens when the ability — and desire — to do so goes away?

6. McKinsey’s new report finds that diversity does not equal inclusion. Forbes. 19 May.

The just-released 2020 report from McKinsey has found – again - that companies with greater gender diversity were 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability compared to their counterparts.

7. After months of elasticated waistbands, will we ever give up comfortable clothes? The Guardian. 19 May.

Lockdown has changed almost everything about our lives – including the way we dress. But for fashion, there may be no ‘back to normal’.

8. Italy’s ‘boys’ club’ politics shuts women out of coronavirus debate. Politico. 19 May.

Women are overwhelmingly on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. And yet, in Italy, when it comes to engineering an exit from lockdown, they’ve had a hard time getting heard.

9. VC funding for women has plummeted during the pandemic. Forbes. 18 May.

Venture capital has always had a gender problem, with women founders accounting for only 7.1% of all venture capital deals in early 2019. But in 2020 women founders got only 4.3% of venture deals, a 40% decrease in their share from the same time last year.

10. More Canadian women have COVID-19 and are dying as a result. Global News. 17 May.

Canada has bucked the global trend with more women getting, and dying of, coronavirus than me. The question is why.

11. The Mrs. Files. NYTimes. 15 May

The Mrs. Files looks at history through a contemporary lens to see what the honorific “Mrs.” means to women and their identity.

12. Why I’ve never believed in ‘Believe Women”. The Atlantic. 14 May.

“Believe women” isn’t just a terrible slogan for the #MeToo movement; it is a trap. The mantra began as an attempt to redress the poor treatment of those who come forward over abuse, and the feminists who adopted it had good intentions, but its catchiness disguised its weakness. 

Gender News, 8-14 May

1. Inside Australia’s bid to be on the world’s top women’s rights committee. SMH. 12 May.

In roughly 20 minutes, Natasha Stott Despoja has to persuade diplomats and ambassadors that her record - her 13 years as a centrist senator; her period as Australia's ambassador for women and girls; and her time as founding chair of Our Watch - justifies a position on CEDAW.

2. ‘Wonderful and too much’. Grandparents fill gaps in childcare. NYTimes. 12 May.

As schools and day cares remain closed, some grandparents have become primary caretakers.

3. Marry by 30, two children by 35. Vietnam’s plan for young people to boost its economy. South China Morning Post. 12 May.

A government policy introduced last month, aimed at reversing declining fertility rates is doing little to change the minds of young female professionals.

4. My hair is going grey during the pandemic. This is why I may never colour it again. Time. 11 May.

Sally Susman’s new wild hair will make the pandemic’s mark permanent. “It could signify that I, too, have emerged from this devastating time transformed. Going forward, I’ll no longer be a woman of trivial pursuits”.

5. How the coronavirus crisis influences Melinda Gates’ $1 billion commitment to gender equality. Fortune. 11 May.

Accessible, affordable childcare will be essential to restarting the economy—and ensuring that women still have a place in it, Melinda Gates argues. 

6. 16 Aussie women have died violent deaths this year, it’s 16 too many. Whimn. 11 May.

After the tragic deaths of Ellie Price, Erlinda Songcuan and Britney Watson, and the 13 women that have come before them just this year, Our Watch ambassador Khadija Gbla says we need to do better.

7. The pandemic’s gender imperative. The Strategist. 11 May.

The Covid-19 crisis has thrown these gender-based differences into sharp relief. Op-ed by Marise Payne.

8. 'Free childcare has been amazing': Australian parents hope pandemic may pave way for reform. The Guardian. 11 May.

The government has vowed to roll back universal free early education once the crisis passes, but returning to a pre-Covid-19 state could be politically fraught.

9. Toxic masculinity is going to get us killed. Medium. 8 May

Men have a history of putting their health — and the health of those around them — at risk for fear of seeming unmasculine.

10. RGB just went to war for your birth control from the hospital. Vice. May 7

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is laid up in a hospital bed, but she still came out swinging in defense of birth control during Supreme Court oral arguments on Wednesday.

11. Helen Garner: I may be an old woman but I’m not done yet. The Guardian. 8 May.

In this extract from her Griffith Review essay the author wrestles with ageing and the deep need to keep writing – and the challenges of working from home.

Behind a paywall

12. Gender pay gap is driving more women to do postgraduate degrees, study findsThe Telegraph. 14 May.

There has been an increase in the number of women taking Masters degrees in the last decade while the number of men has "flatlined". The reasons are to do with pay.

Gender news, 1-7 April

  1. What to get her for Mother's Day? Flexible work for women - and men. SMH, 8 May

Libby Lyons, Director of WGEA reminds us why motherhood "is an act of infinite optimism." 

2. Parental leave laws don’t do enough for single mom’s but there’s a way to fix that. The Conversation. 7 May.

Having studied parental leave laws around the world, Deborah Widiss believes new US parental leave laws are a crucial step forward. But they still treat single parents, most of whom are women, unfairly2

3. The pandemic has revealed the weakness of strongmen. The Atlantic. 7 May.

Women leaders are a symptom of a political system’s success, not necessarily its cause.

4. Can 4 days be the new full time? The Australian. 6 May.

Australia’s top women executives have called on the federal government to fix a childcare system that continues to force women into part-time work.

5. What Lawrence Leung has learned from parenting during isolation. ABC. 6 May

You may have heard that parenting small children has gotten somewhat harder during the coronavirus outbreak. It's like being trapped in a disease-themed escape room filled with high-maintenance Tamagotchis.

6. Lockdown reveals the myth of multitasking, SMH, 6 May

There’s no such thing as a “working parent”. The phrase is an oxymoron. At any point in the day, you’re either a human being performing work tasks or a human being performing caring tasks.

7. Nearly half of men say they do most of the home schooling. Only 3% of women agree. NYTimes. 5 May.

A survey suggests that pandemic-era domestic work isn’t being divided more equitably than before the lockdown.

8. Why Australian married women with kids are victims of our tax and transfer system. ABC. 5 May.

One of the biggest barriers to second earners entering the workforce — typically women in the majority of household types — is where we make payments on a household income basis.

9. Gender equity starts in the home. HBR. 4 May

The presence of more men sharing more fully in domestic duties for an extended period of time has the potential to create a sea change in gendered norms — at home and at work. 

10. In a crisis, a shift: The changing face of fatherhood. Brisbane Times. 2 May.

Just one in 20 Australian dads takes parental leave. Usually. But there’s been a dramatic shift as COVID-19 restrictions change the way we live. Fathers who would normally return to work after two weeks' leave are now home with new babies, partners and jobs.

11. COVID-19 risk to women 'could harm us all'. Nikkei Asian Review. 2 May.

Pandemic's economic impact likely to fall hard on females already facing burdens. Op-ed by Antonio Gueterres.

12. A feminine crisis? Something unique about coronavirus may be widening the political gender gap. Seattle Times. 1 May.

In recent weeks the pandemic itself has started to polarize the electorate along gender lines.


Added extras


Seriously Social: Gender and the pandemic.

What has the COVID-19 crisis taught us about gender, diversity and the very notion of citizenship? On this episode of Seriously Social journalist Ginger Gorman talks to legal scholar Professor Kim Rubenstein about gender and the pandemic, leadership, and what it means to be an active citizen.

 The Quicky: Why has COVID-19 ISO been so much worse for women?

MamaMia's Claire Murphy speaks to Kim Rubenstein, 50/50 by 2030 Foundation co-director, on the added burdens isolation has brought to Australian women.