2018 – Bigger, better and broader agenda!

in Commentary , Tagged gender equality, Global, Gender diversity, Gender quotas, Gender equality policies, #NOWAustralia, #auspol, BroadAgenda.
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    Pia Rowe

    Dr Pia Rowe, BroadAgenda Editor and 50/50 by 2030 Foundation Research Fellow. Pia obtained her PhD in Political Science from the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra. Her research interests include inclusive notions of politics and feminism, in particular issues normally considered as social and non-political.

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Commentary:

So we’ve come to the end of our second year here at BroadAgenda, and what a year it has been! We launched our baby with a big bang on International Women’s Day 2017, and have continued to explore the world under the gender lens ever since.


Since our launch, we have published over 260 articles, videos and podcasts from academics, industry leaders, politicians and journalists from around the world, and there is not a lot that hasn’t come under our radar.

Here’s some of the 2018 highlights. 

On the domestic front, Australian federal politics provided us much fodder this year, with the ever-revolving door of male prime ministers; rising women independents; parliamentary gender bullying, and the topic of slut-shaming dominating the headlines.

Reflecting on the Federal Budget 2018, the heads of some of the most influential NGO’s responded to the cuts in overseas aid; the World Bank’s Dr Caren Grown explored the true cost of sexism in a special In-Conversation with the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation Director Virginia Haussegger AM; Fairfax National Affairs Editor Mark Kenny examined the economic inequalities of men and women; and Helen Dalley-Fisher and Hannah Gissane looked at the potential of the Time Use Survey to make unpaid work visible.

World Bank

Dr Pia Rowe, BroadAgenda Editor; Virginia Haussegger AM, Director 50/50 by 2030 Foundation; Dr Caren Grown, Senior Director for Gender, World Bank Group; Professor Nicholas Klomp, Deputy Vice Chancellor University of Canberra.

With a keen eye on the global platform, we explored the old politics of the new Italian government; the relentless hatred directed at Hillary Clinton; the role of love in China’s gender imbalances; the progress on gender equality in the Pacific region; and swooned over Jacinda Ardern and the “stardust that won’t settle”.

We looked all over the world for solutions to close the persistent gender gaps across the board.

50/50 by 2030 Foundation director Virginia Haussegger compared the gender pay gap policies in Australia and the UK, and asked whether it’s time for tougher measures; Emeritus Professor Marian Sawer and Professor Miranda Stewart analysed the global movement for gender budgeting; Dr Emma Hagqvist set the record straight on Sweden’s welfare policies; Professor Deborah Widiss' USA-Australia comparisons of parental leave policies provided some surprising results; feminist icon Eva Cox argued the case for Universal Social Dividend; and Irene Natividad delivered a stern message to those who object to gender quotas: “Get Over It!”.  

Natividad

Irene Natividad, President of the Global Summit of Women at the National Press Club, February 2018

On the creative side, we discovered that in the art market, a woman’s brushstroke was worth much, much less than a man’s; Eminent art historian and former Head of Australian Art at the NGA, Dr Anna Gray honored and celebrated the contributions of Australian women artists to war art; while Dr Ruth Lee Martin searched the canon for women in music. 

On the leadership front, we were proud to feature Dr Jessa Rogers, a Wiradjuri woman who works tirelessly to empower Indigenous women; we got some sage advice from Her Excellency Menna Rawlings, British High Commissioner and Her Excellency Unni Kløvstad, Norwegian Ambassador; Dr Beck Strating and Dr Jasmine-Kim Westendorf called for more female voices in Australian foreign policy debates; and Elise Stephenson reflected on LGBTQ women’s ability to disrupt diplomacy. ACT Woman of the Year, Ashleigh Streeter-Jones’ honest account of ‘Impostor Syndrome’ resonated deeply among our readers; and BroadAgenda Editor Dr Pia Rowe challenged some of the insidious assumptions about the ‘softness’ of female leadership.

Unni Virg Menna

Her Excellency Unni Kløvstad; Virginia Haussegger AM; Her Excellency Menna Rawlings

Masculinity has been a hot topic this year. Professor Stephanie Lawson explored the ‘politics of manliness’, Dr David Duriesmith argued that feminism isn’t to blame for the fact that men are hurting; and Mick Chisnall reflected on the crisis of masculinity and violence against women.

As firm believers in open debate, we didn’t shy away from covering difficult or controversial topics. Professor Henrik Wagenaar argued the case against prohibition and criminalization of prostitution; and on the heels of the referendum in Ireland, we looked at the role of media in covering abortion debates. We shone a light at the victims of Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines; looked at the crisis in Rohingya; and investigated violence against women in refugee camps.

We published two exclusive guest-edited series – Pressing for Freedom: Letters from the Field edited by Dr Nicole Curato; and Has democracy failed women? edited by Jean-Paul Gagnon. And we were proud to launch our groundbreaking research program From girls to men: Social attitudes to gender equality in Australia.

Standing on the shoulders of our feminist foremothers, we’ve had the utmost honor of featuring some of the heavyweights of the gender scholar space, including a series of video interviews with Professor Anne Phillips; and excerpts from Professor Cynthia Enloe’s Plenary ‘Patriarchy is bigger than Donald Trump’.

2018 was the ‘Year of the Woman’, and this was certainly obvious in the ever-growing Gender News space. Each week we curated a list of the most important headlines, and sent a snappy weekly wrap up to our subscribers.

Democratising voice is something we’re particularly passionate about here at BroadAgenda, so we decided to give the platform to our contributors. Watch this video to see what they thought were the most important gender equality headlines of 2018.

Finally, a big heartfelt thank you to all our contributors, readers and supporters – we couldn’t do it without you! In particular, we would like to acknowledge the ongoing support from our colleagues at NATSEM, the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, and the University of Canberra – thank you.  

We wish you all a happy, safe and relaxing holiday season.

Stay tuned for an even bigger, better and bolder BroadAgenda when we return in January 2019!

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