Weekly Wrap

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Weekly wrap-up: 2018 March week 4

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Is Western civilisation on the decline? Are our political debates being ‘dumbed down’ in the media? Drawing on the works of second wave feminists, Tony Nagy argues that we need to pay more attention to the way in which power shapes our national discourse, and calls for better media scrutiny of those in decision-making roles. We take a look at the emerging feminist collective action in the Pacific region, which has one of the lowest rates of women's political participation in the world, and the highest levels of violence against women. Finally, we celebrate the Australian female artists' contributions to WW1 war art. While no women were chosen to be among Australia’s official war artists, that didn’t stop them from following their passion. Eminent art historian, Dr Anna Gray, ensures that their legacy will not be forgotten.

In Gender News, a focus on the technology sector as the pay gap in Australia’s high tech companies is found to be one of the worst in the world; Twitter’s toxic culture is failing women says Amnesty International; a toolkit for improving corporate culture and gender equality in the workplace; call for action against all-male panels; and ending on a positive note, Tasmania leading the way on female representation in Parliament.

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 March week 3

512px GGNZ Swearing of new Cabinet Jacinda Ardern 2 2What affect, if any, do women news bureau chiefs have on political reportage? Does it turn political scrutiny ‘soft’? We know the answer to that. But do others agree?! Check out Dr Pia Rowe’s commentary on the Unbearable ‘softness’ of female leadership … in response to a grumpy NZ scribe who complained that having women head all the Kiwi mainstream media political bureaux has turned hard media into some kind of feminine mush. Also this week, time to turn the tables on ‘manels’ – those all male panels. ANU’s Assoc Prof Fiona Jenkins shares her impassioned IWD speech on this issue.

In Gender News, Australia’s “boys-club political culture” makes headlines in the New York TimesPeta Credlin calls on the Liberal Party to give women a fair go; Foreign Minister Julie Bishop give a cracker speech at the UN; the OECD releases its Toolkit for Mainstreaming and Implementing Gender Equality; a shout out for BroadAgenda’s first anniversary … and plenty more!

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 March week 2

shutterstock 561174037I am woman, hear me roar! And roar we did, through the action packed week of celebrations to mark the IWD on 8 March. This week the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation and University of Canberra brought together a powerhouse cast for a special In Conversation, with Dame Quentin Bryce, Elizabeth Broderick AO, and our very own Virginia Haussegger AM taking the stage to discuss the unfinished project of gender equality. From progress and backlash in the workplace to the difficult topics of sexual violence and #MeToo, the passion of these three women to make a difference in the face of all the challenges gave us much needed reason for hope. 

Dame Quentin’s timely reminder to raise our voices louder to protect the rights of women and children, both in Australia and worldwide, has also been a central feature here at BroadAgenda this week. In the spirit of #PressForProgress, we collaborated with Dr Nicole Curato from the Centre of Deliberative Democracy at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis and produced an exclusive two part series, ‘Pressing for Freedom’: Letters from the Field’ (part 1 and part 2). The series focused on the attack on press freedom in Southeast Asia, and included heartfelt letters from female journalists who are fighting back and refusing to be silenced.  Despite the extraordinary challenges these brave individuals face every single day, their overall message was the same: Quitting is not an option.     

BroadAgenda Chief Editor, Virginia Haussegger took a stocktake of the current climate, and warned us about the ‘devil hot on the heels of the zeitgeist’ and the brewing whiff of a backlash as women keep moving up the ladder in the workplace. The rally call #PressforProgress, she argued, is a call out to men. Finally, we looked at the impact of self-declared male feminist political leaders on women’s policy, with Emeritus Professor Marian Sawer and PhD candidate Blair Williams analysing the gender and sexuality issues during the 2016 Federal Election campaign. Despite their eagerness to position themselves as gender equality advocates, the results left a lot to be desired.

It’s also been a jam packed week with Gender News. Inequality and sexual harassment at shocking levels in Australia according to a new report from Sydney University. A thorough look at the facts and figures of where we’re at, and measures proven to help close the gender pay gap. We must tackle our unconscious biases if we want to win the battle, and of course, be mindful of the gender stereotyping that starts from the very beginning in children’s bedtime stories.  

Happy International Women’s Day, and happy reading!

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 March week 1

shutterstock 386557372It’s been a noisy week in the gender space with some real doozies! There was a bit of ‘mis-spoke’; a little ‘over-reach’; some ‘ouch’ moments … and some good old fashioned patronizing buffoonery! But if you missed any of it – worry not. We’ve got it covered in our weekly summary of best reads in our Gender News. And its wasn’t just 60 Minutes reporter Charles Wooley who ought be deeply embarrassed. (Apart from asking precisely when NZ PM Jacinda Ardern conceived the child she will give birth to in June, Wooley seemed deeply baffled by the idea that a PM could be female, “so young”, “so smart and “so attractive”).

This week on BroadAgenda we concluded our Meet the Male Feminist series with a particularly thoughtful Q&A from Northern Territory MP, Warren Snowden. We were also delighted to publish blogs from two outstanding international feminists. US scholar and writer Susan Bordo generously gave BroadAgendaexclusive Australian access to the new, updated Afterword she recently penned for her book, The Destruction of Hillary Clinton. And we published the final in our 3 part video interview series with Prof Anne Phillips, in which we discussed why the poor representation of women in politics is a problem for democracy. You can watch the short series (6 mins each) here – with Phillips on Gender and PopulismCultural practicesDelusions of Democracy: or catch the full intv here (25 mins).

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 February week 4

shutterstock 279246548There was a bit of fan girl swooning around BroadAgenda this week when world renowned feminist scholar, Professor Anne Phillips, dropped in for a video interview. On a short sabbatical from the London School of Economics, Prof Phillips was visiting the University of Canberra to meet with students and academics from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy, at IGPA (Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis). We were delighted to record a wide ranging interview with her in which BroadAgenda Chief Editor, Virginia Haussegger, canvased issues such as sexism and Trump – in the age of Populism; the tensions between women, culture and multiculturalism; and why the poor political representation of women is a failing of democracy. This week’s blogs include 2 instalments of the Phillips interview, with more to come next week, including the full recording. We also took another detailed look at SDG5, this time from the perspective of Plan International, who is calling on the Australian government to develop an Adolescent Girls Strategy.

In our wrap of the week’s best Gender News, bad news from the OECD’s ‘Glass Ceiling’ Index. The gap in workplace gender equality remains wide, with Australia – slap, bang in the middle. And lastly, we had to include a piece by Jacqueline Maley (SMH) who summed up our collective exasperation with bonking bans and Barnaby when she said, “Women pay the consequences for men’s failures and weaknesses far more often than the reverse is true.”

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 February week 3

old mexican woman resized copyThis week we focus on war, art and … sex. Not surprisingly our Gender News wrap kicks off with Barnaby, ‘bonking’ and bans. A sex ban on staff: Is this 21st Century public policy, or prudish panic? We’ll have more on the ‘sex ban’ in coming weeks. Meantime, our blog ‘An artful truth about gender bias’ highlights new research that examined over 1.5 million art auction transactions. Sadly, the findings are bad news for female artists. And when it comes to war not all battles take place in the fields, as demonstrated in an excellent blog that turns our attention to central and south America – the region with the highest rate of violent crimes against women.

A couple of new reports to hit our desk this week: ‘Being the First: lessons from women leaders’ (Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development). And ‘Turning Promises into Action: Gender Equality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ (UN Women).. check the summary here.

For a quick digest of the week’s Gender News, we’ve got it covered. And for those who wonder why there are fewer women quoted in mainstream media than men – read the New York Times piece on why this is so!

Lastly, watch out next week for our video interview with one of the world’s leading feminist scholars, Anne Phillips, from LSE who dropped into BroadAgenda this week!

Happy Reading!

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 February week 2

2018 02 07BroadAgenda HilaryWardhaugh055 copyShe came, she spoke, and they listened! Not only did a packed audience at the National Press Club listen hard to Irene Natividad, President of the Global Summit of Women, but she wooed them - with a sassy mix of charm and blunt advice: So you don’t like quotas for women, well “get over it!” This fast talking, fact wielding global warrior for women’s rights and gender equality gave an energising speech and thanked the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation for inviting her to the NPC and hosting the event. The address was broadcast live on ABC TV and can be viewed here, or catch Today’s BroadAgenda for our blog summary, ‘The Global call to raise women’s voice’.

This week we zoom in again on STEM, with a look at what the University of Canberra is doing as part of the SAGE pilot. Our outgoing Editor, Zoya Patel, speaks to UC’s Shubhra Roy about how and why theuniversity is tackling gender diversity in STEM research. And we take a look at public transport and the gendered nature of policy implications.

For quick but solid bites of good reading – check out our Gender News for this week… and a particularly good panel discussion with Margaret Atwood and others on gender equality in 100 years. (And yes we note, the WEF still says it will take 217 years!)

Happy Reading!

Weekly wrap-up: 2018 February week 1

Libby Lyons WGEABroadAgenda is back for 2018 and it’s already been a bumper couple of weeks! Our opening blog ‘An Unconscionable truth: how Rohingya women are being used as weapons of war’ packs a powerful punch, and makes a persuasive case for gendered research to underpin humanitarian assistance policy. Our ‘Meet the Male Feminist’ series has taken a few twists. Check out Prof Jon Crowe and Peter FitzSimons. We’ve been scanning the globe’s top 20 Gender Equality performers to check out public policy innovations: first up this year is Canada’s foreign aid policy – a tough critique. And inspired by Iceland’s 2018 move to outlaw the gender pay gap – today we ask WGEA’s Libby Lyons why can’t Australia do the same!
Don’t forget … for a quick whip around of what’s been in mainstream media over the past week… check out our Gender News – for the good, bad and the downright ugly (see why Syd Sevens star player says its“pretty shit”)
Happy Reading!

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 December week 3

Screen Shot 2018 01 31 at 2.56.38 pmSo it's a wrap! A bumper blog to close off what's been a big first year for us. Not only did BroadAgenda spring to life on IWD 2017, its mothership, the 50/50 Foundation was also officially launched in September. Take a minute to watch some of the highlights of our launch, which include an exceptionally passionate speech by Natasha Stott Despoja, and a rousing one from our Patron Dame Quentin Bryce.

This week BroadAgenda sat down with Elizabeth Proust to talk about the AICD's 'illusive' 2018 target for women on board. We also spoke with Andrew Leigh MP as part of our ongoing Meet the Male Feminist series. And we unpack the effect of awards wages on the gender pay gap.

As you slide into summer catch up on current views in our Gender News... a fabulous go-to resource. Check out our favourite Gender Equality 2017 Year in Review... Meet our new Minister for Women ... and more good steer from The Conversation. To get real cerebral check in with the 50/50 Foundation Resource Hub ... a treasure trove of info all in one place! On behalf of the BroadAgenda team - thank you for your support, generosity of spirit and encouragement. We hope to see you again late January 2018! (Good Goddess willing!!)

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 December week 2

Screen Shot 2018 01 31 at 2.53.37 pmAs the year winds down (at last!) we’re scouring the globe for examples of what gender equality strategies actually work. While squeezed into the BroadAgenda office we got debating the hot issue of women and quotas, only to learn that our very own team member, Jane Alver, contributed to the early research that examined Norway’s controversial decision in 2004 to impose a 40% gender quota for women on boards. She’s shared her reflections on BroadAgenda today. One of the big sleepers in the gender equality discussion in Australia is the issue of ‘intersectionality’. With this in mind, we’ve posted a dense but excellent piece on intersectionality in the European context. And we continue our fascinating series on Meet the Male Feminist as Fairfax commentator and political analyst Mark Kenny takes our Q&A test!
Last week we introduced you to the rich treasure trove of reports and research we’re collating at the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation’s Report Hub. It’s an excellent, up to date resource for media, researchers and anyone interested in gender equality.
This week – another new offering! Welcome to ‘Gender News’. Every day our small team share interesting snippets, stories and articles we happen across. Now, each Friday we’ll post a short, curated selection on BroadAgenda and send you the link in this email. (And please feel free to email or tweet us any interesting bits and pieces you think we should include. Email: broadagenda@canberra.edu.au). Happy reading. The BroadAgenda team.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 December week 1

BAAs the year winds down (at last!) we’re scouring the globe for examples of what gender equality strategies actually work. While squeezed into the BroadAgenda office we got debating the hot issue of women and quotas, only to learn that our very own team member, Jane Alver, contributed to the early research that examined Norway’s controversial decision in 2004 to impose a 40% gender quota for women on boards. She’s shared her reflections on BroadAgenda today. One of the big sleepers in the gender equality discussion in Australia is the issue of ‘intersectionality’. With this in mind, we’ve posted a dense but excellent piece on intersectionality in the European context. And we continue our fascinating series on Meet the Male Feminist as Fairfax commentator and political analyst Mark Kenny takes our Q&A test!

This week – another new offering! Welcome to ‘Gender News’.  Every day our small team share interesting snippets, stories and articles we happen across. Now, each Friday we’ll post a short, curated selection on BroadAgenda and send you the link in this email. (And please feel free to email or tweet us any interesting bits and pieces you think we should include. Email:broadagenda@canberra.edu.au)

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 November Week 5

Male MP wrapIs there such a thing as a 'male feminist'? We're on the hunt to find out and this week in the first of our 'Meet the Male Feminist' series, Finnish MP Ville Niinisto makes a compelling case around male authority and 'expertise'. As for men who are expert at knowing what's best when it comes to women's sexual and reproductive rights... we zoom in on Senator Cory Bernardi. His multiple parliamentary motions to further restrict abortion were recently defeated in the Senate, but this fight is clearly not over. We turned to Prof Margaret Thornton to explain the legal maze of abortion law in Australia. And for more in our series on Women Peace and Security, we look at the role of Pacific women and how they can best raise their voices.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 November Week 4

genderImproving gender equality is at the forefront of transforming the ways in which we approach all contemporary issues in our society. This week, we continue our ongoing discussion on Sustainable Development Goal 5, as Dr Sonya Duus from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, and BroadAgenda Editor Dr Pia Rowe unpack the challenges and opportunities it presents to Australia.  In a guest post from the Australian Women, Peace and Security Coalition, Pip Henty and Beth Eggleston demonstrate that gender equality is also the key to transforming humanitarian approaches. From closing the gender gap in leadership roles within humanitarian organisations to engaging those affected in meaningful ways, we need to move beyond the common discourse of the protection of women, and recognise the capacities of girls and women to act as leaders in humanitarian response. Finally, we take a look at how we can make things better for women in politics, as Centenary Professor Gerry Stoker outlines how we can transform Parliaments to be more inclusive of diversity.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 November Week 3

doing democracy differentlyRich readings in a busy week in which BroadAgenda’s Chief Editor, Virginia Haussegger, facilitated the IPAA (Institute of Public Administration Australia) Annual Conference, with its focus on ‘Trust’ and governance. The following day we took to MOAD (Museum of Australian Democracy) for a day’s roundtable discussions about the state of democracy in Australia, and finished the talkfest with a terrific panel discussion ‘Doing Democracy Differently – What works’. So with this backdrop we thought it a perfect time to commission one of IGPA’s deliberative democracy gurus - Dr Simon Niemeyer -  to consider if there is a gendered difference in the way women engage in political reasoning. Read his fascinating thoughts here. And as we remain transfixed by the recently released WEF Global Gender Gap Index  2017, we’ve turned to Norway, and asked Norwegian Ambassador to Australia, Unni Kovstad, to help us understand why Norway ranks so high… and how is the first nation in the world to introduce Gender Quotas fairing? With a female PM, Foreign Minister and Finance Minister, we think they’re doing pretty jolly well in the gender stakes.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 November Week 2

GirlsTakeover wrapWe’re still reeling from the bad news in this year’s Global Gender Gap Index Report, which indicate that the gender gap is widening for the first time since 2006. Australia has picked up in overall ranking to 35 out of 144 nations. But our worst performing area is in health. Dr Stephen Robson looks at Australia’s slide to 104/144 nations for women’s Health and Survival. Sexual assault and harassment remains a headline issue, with Tony Nagy asking why the media shies away from calling out misogyny. Happily, far from shy, the young women from the #GirlsTakeOver campaign report back on the day in which they stepped into the shoes of 27 MPs.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 November Week 1

Elizabeth Lee wrapDo political parties need gender quotas? Or is gender parity best achieved through other strategies? While the Liberal party remains divided, the Liberal rising star Elizabeth Lee MLA provides her frank and honest views on the matter. Also on the topic of quotas, Sofie Marien provides an overview of her research in the Belgian context. As Sofie explains, those deep-seated gender-biases are hard to erase! And responding to an article recently published in The Conversation, BroadAgenda co-editor Dr Pia Rowe takes issue with the claim that #MeToo represents ‘impoverished feminism’, and argues the case for modern digital activism.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 October Week 4

boys will be boys wrapCan better public policy change cultures that condone everyday sexism? Or can the art of theatre help us see more clearly how endemic gender inequality has become embedded in our work lives? To help answer those questions, one of our 50/50 Foundation scholars, Joanna Richards, blogged this week on the play Boys Will Be Boys, in which she also plays a lead role! Another of our Foundation team, Jane Alver, has blogged about an excellent leadership program that is empowering young women. And lastly, we were delighted to have Australia's foremost media academic and award winning journalist Margaret Simons share early results from her current research into media reporting of Violence Against Women VAW.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 October Week 3

MeToo wrap

As women are posting #MeToo on social media - in staggering numbers - to call out perpetrators of sexual assault and harassment in response to news reports of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein's systematic abuse of women, one woman explains why she has decided to share her story. We look at research findings presented to Harvard University's Women & Public Policy Program which suggest that many people, including women themselves, often think that women should not be leaders. And with the rise of populist movements across the globe, we ask: what does populism offer women? And is there potential for women to drive democratic innovation?

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 October Week 2

UN Women wrap"Gender equality is both a fundamental right and a solution to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals". This was the key message from our wrap up of a special in-conversation with three UN Women representatives this week. We look at how women can positively impact the way we 'do' politics, when in 2006 four women senators from rival political parties worked together to overturn a ministerial veto on a medical abortion drug. And one of the contributors to the OECD's latest report on progress towards gender equality highlights that while more action is required from governments to close gender gaps, some progress has been made in three policy areas.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 October Week 1

Dr mr pm image wrapYoung women can change the world! That's the message from one of the organisers of next week's #GirlsTakeover parliament program in her letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Prior to a special in-conversation event next week with three UN Women leaders, the Executive Director of UN Women Australia unpacks how gender equality is central to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. And at an anxious time of year for many researchers awaiting the announcement of a major round of funding, we look at whether changes to government policy have leveled the playing field for women researchers.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 September Week 4

Malala wrapWith the International Day for Non Violence falling on Monday 2nd October, we look at who are the winners and losers in the global struggle to fund organisations fighting to end violence against women. We break down the disappointing findings from the OECD's recent report on progress by its member nations to implement its Gender Recommendations, and we hear from an experimental group in the UK who are attempting to subvert the disciplinary norms of the male-dominated academic field of philosophy by providing their undergraduate women with a female-only space to study the work of women philosophers.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 September Week 3

girls takeover wrapWith New Zealanders set to head to the polls tomorrow to elect a new Government, we take a look beyond the hype of 'Jacindamania' and ask whether Jacinda Ardern meets the traditional criteria by which candidates are judged. We give you a preview of the passion and energy with which the Girls Takeover Parliament Program will occupy the spaces and roles of some well-known parliamentarians on the International Day of the Girl Child next month. And in the wake of the 48th Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting, will promises of dialogue between these leaders and Pacific feminist civil society equate to concrete change?

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 September Week 2

NSD at AC wrapTo coincide with the launch of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, we have five posts this week to whet your appetite for all that we have in store over the coming months – and years. We published recaps of two highlights of the evening - the inspirational speeches delivered by our Foundation Patron Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO and Advisory Council member Natasha Stott Despoja AM. Foundation Director and BroadAgenda Chief Editor Virginia Haussegger AM takes a look at just how well Australia is tracking as we race towards that 2030 target. Two short videos crunch the numbers on Australia’s progress towards gender equality (or lack thereof) in the international context, and provide an overview of how those numbers are broken down by sector.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 September Week 1

macron wrapupThis week on BroadAgenda we’re all about the numbers - specifically 50/50! In the lead up to the official launch of the 50/50 by 2030 Foundation next Tuesday, Virginia Haussegger examines how Australia’s progress (or lack thereof) towards gender equality is tracking in the global context. We look to France, and ask whether President Emmanuel Macron’s 50/50 cabinet reflects gender parity across the political spectrum. And to coincide with Equal Pay Day on September 4, BroadAgenda spoke to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to find out why the gender pay gap (which currently stands at 15.3%) is taking so long to close.

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 August Week 4

judith and MPs wrapup

With the ASEAN Women’s Business conference taking place in the Philippines this week, our focus was on our close relationship with Asia, and the part played by women as the drivers of change in the region. We looked at the findings from a report into the Asia capabilities of the men and women leading some of Australia's top companies, and heard from a Victorian MP who is taking part in a program to mentor new female MPs from Myanmar. Our Chief Editor Virginia Haussegger AM took part in two events during the second annual Canberra Writers Festival. Our wrap-up of the panels on Women in the Media and Women at Work shares some of the highlights of the day.

 Weekly wrap-up: 2017 August Week 3

nik salida wrapup

This week, BroadAgenda was pleased to publish an exclusive Q&A with Malaysia’s Human Rights Commissioner Dr Nik Salida, who spoke to us during her recent visit to Australia. Dr Salida was refreshingly candid about the challenge ahead for Malaysia as it works towards implementing gender parity laws. We also look at Australia’s Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda ahead of a series of roundtable events next month. Does the national action plan require a gendered approach towards counter terrorism? And in uncertain times, should ideas as to who is considered an 'expert' in the field be redefined to accommodate different kinds of political actors?

Weekly wrap-up: 2017 August Week 2

knitting nannas wrapup

We started this week by looking at the recent elections in Papua New Guinea, and asked what next for women’s political participation in PNG? We spoke to the team behind a study - with some surprising results - on the use of ‘blind’ reviewing in recruitment processes as a method to overcome unconscious bias and promote diversity in leadership positions. And to coincide with the launch of Democracy100 at Old Parliament House last night, we thought it timely to ask: how does democracy function in practice? Three researchers from the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis offer different perspectives on the concept. Would a feminine ‘ethics-of-care’ approach push society to think differently about democracy? Are our current democratic systems preventing female political leaders from attaining the same levels of authority as their male counterparts? Finally, democracy isn’t solely about leadership or ideology, as the Knitting Nannas Against Gas demonstrate: democracy is, and should be, something in which we can all participate.

Weekly wrap-up: August Week 1

Erica in market square wrapup

Ahead of the launch of National Science Week today, the co-Founders of ANUFifty50 called for gender equality in STEM fields by 2025. We continued our series on women in local government with a response by a new councillor to the recent report criticising the outdated culture in UK councils. And in two posts we highlight the pervasiveness of violence against women in all aspects of society by focusing on the experiences of two very different groups of women: from women in the Pacific Islands who receive little support from the organisations set up to assist them, to the alarming increase in violence and abuse of female politicians in the UK.

Weekly wrap-up: July Week 4

gowomenlg wrapup

BroadAgenda continued our series on women’s representation in Local Government with a post on the women in Victoria who are leading the way for the rest of Australia. We then shifted focus to the progress and pitfalls for women in leadership, with a conversation between our chief editor Virginia Haussegger and Helen Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister and former administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. To round out the week, our coverage of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s landmark report into Sexual Assault and Harassment at Australian universities highlighted the secret taboo that must be addressed on a national scale in order to change the course - for good.

Weekly wrap-up: July Week 3

UK Local Gov wrapup

The posts on BroadAgenda this week are linked by the common theme of women in public service: from the Army, to the public sector, to local government. Our Q&A with the author of the Australian Army’s recently-released report ‘Teaming’ unpacks how gender dynamics play out in the modern Army. A short video interview between UC’s IGPA Director Mark Evans and Jane Halton, the former Secretary of the Department of Finance on strategies to encourage women to apply for, and succeed in, leadership positions has a clear message: Just do it! And two posts address the representation of women in local governments in Australia and the UK. One post outlines efforts by governments in Victoria to increase the number of female councillors, while the other provides an overview of a recent damning UK report into an outdated culture holding women back.

Weekly wrap-up: July Week 2

Gender and climate change wrapup

This week on BroadAgenda we explored two diverse aspects of the gender equality debate, from the Paris Agreement on climate change to the position of Australian women in academia. Firstly, the United Nations Development Programme’s Verania Chao outlined the ways that gender equality and climate change are interlinked, especially for women in poorer nations. This is particularly urgent given that national submissions to the Paris Agreement barely acknowledge women’s participation – both as unequal players in the policy-making process, and as those hit hardest by climate disasters. At the other end of the spectrum, Briony Lipton looks at gender equity policies in Australian higher education, and asks whether female academics have been encouraged to invest in the fantasy of the academic ‘good life’.

Weekly wrap-up: June Week 4

AIM wrapupThis week on BroadAgenda we looked at three areas where the gender gap is felt most keenly: at the ballot box, in the hip pocket, and in the division of domestic labour. What  role does gender play when it comes to voter perceptions of candidates? Would She a more dynamic experimental approach help to understand what role, if any, gender plays in voter perceptions of leadership? Next, there's a recap of the Australian Institute of Management (AIM)’s Great Debate for 2017. The topic of this year’s debate was ‘Equal pay will close the gender gap’, a topic which generated a lively discussion among the impressive line-up of speakers AIM had assembled. Finally, we look at the potential of collaborative consumption to innovate how women can divide and conquer the demands of running the home, using the example of group, big batch cooking sessions such as MamaBake.

Weekly wrap-up: June Week 3

shutterstock 392403082This past week has been one of our busiest yet at BroadAgenda, with two themes dominating. The first focused on ‘glass walls’ and the gender pay gap; and the second on the gendered nature of news consumption. Following a Senate committee report on ‘Gender Segregation in the workplace and its impact on women’s economic equality’, Dr Kathy MacDermott and Prof Alison Sheridan pulled no punches in their responses. Meanwhile, last Thursday saw the much anticipated release of the Digital News Report: Australia 2017, including its inaugural chapter on ‘Gender and News’. The BroadAgenda team examined how the consumption of news differs between men and women, with some fascinating (and somewhat disturbing!) details about where men prefer to read news. Complementing this is an essay by BroadAgenda’s Chief Editor, Virginia Haussegger, ‘News – what’s gender got to do with it?’; along with a commentary on ‘Women, News and barren fruit bowls’. The series is rounded out with a research overview, ‘Gender and News: Myth and Reality’.

Weekly wrap-up: June Week 2

RosieSo, is our gender pay gap a 'festering sore for the Australian economy’ as Professor Alison Sheridan suggests? This week BroadAgenda rattled not just glass ceilings but those illusive ‘glass walls’ as we unpacked the issues around gendered work sectors and the pay gap, following the recent release of the Senate report on gender segregation in the workplace. While Professor Sheridan urges continued pressure on policy makers and employers to deliver progress on pay equity, Dr Kathy MacDermott argues that gender segregation is in fact getting worse, and women's work will continue to be undervalued unless current legislation is amended. Meanwhile, Diversity Council Australia's recent report 'Men make a difference: Engaging men on gender equality' provides practical information on how to best to engage men in progressing gender equality, as our exclusive interview with the report’s lead author suggests. Finally, our Chief editor Virginia Haussegger trawls through the Queen’s Birthday Australian Honours List and sighs with that familiar lament… ‘where are the women?’

NewsBrief: Week 2 May 2017


Here’s what’s been blogging on BroadAgenda this past week...

This week our focus has been on gender equality and work. Relocating for a job opportunity is never easy, but in two-career families, the decision to move presents a whole new set of issues. Whose career comes first?  Jacklyn Wong's research looks at how gender shapes couples' decision-making. Perhaps unsurprisingly, her research shows that even in otherwise egalitarian couples, the responsibility for achieving work-family balance still often falls on women.

Continuing on the theme of work, Professor Laurie Brown crunches the superannuation figures. That women have lower superannuation balances has been long known, but what has received less attention is how factors such as age and divorce impact the finances in retirement. The numbers, it turns out, are particularly stacked against divorced, mature aged women. Finally, in the context of Kate Ellis' resignation, Emeritus Professor John Warhurst looks at how we could  improve our chances of achieving 50:50 representation by setting up more flexible working conditions for MPs. To actually embrace diversity in politics, we need to stop asking why did she leave, and instead focus on what we can do in the future to make people like her stay. 

 More NewsBrief here ...

NewsBrief: Week 1 May 2017


Here’s what’s been blogging on BroadAgenda this past week...
Aboriginal women in Australia fare worse than non-indigenous women on just about every health measure. Yet, there is a new determination within the medical community to change the course of Indigenous health. Professor Stephen Robson, President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,  is determined to tackle the issue head on. Pregnancy, he notes, is the perfect time to build trusting relationships with women and their families, with healthy and health-literate women being the single most important influence on the health of their communities.

Casting her eyes on the other side of the world, Dr Sonia Halpieri takes a look at how gender equality has been addressed in Finland. Dr Halpieri argues that Australia needs to embrace women’s legitimate right to political power at the popular and political levels, and shows that there’s quite a lot we could learn from the Finns. Finally, Dr Suzy Marsh’s inspiring research from New Zealand shows that money and loans aren’t always synonymous with economics and the bottom line. While no panacea to all the world’s ills, microcredit can provide both economic and emotional empowerment to women in times of need. But to be effective it needs to be kept small scale, local, uncomplicated, and above all, interest free.

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NewsBrief: Week 4 April 2017


Here’s what’s been blogging on BroadAgenda this past week...
The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre marked its 40th Anniversary last year. Over the years, the CRCC has seen an extraordinary increase in demand for its services, with a much higher rate of young women seeking help and support. Yet, many suffer in silence, though the exact numbers aren’t known.  Chrystina Stanford, the CEO of the centre, initiates an open and frank discussion about sexual assault, and unpacks some of the mystery around how to best respond to victims in need of support.

This week we also go beyond the data and numbers, as our blogger ‘Jill’ discusses her sexual assault trauma that took place 15 years ago, when she was just a teenager. Jill’s brave blog highlights the uncomfortable silence surrounding the topic, as she notes that this is the first time she’s ever talked about it publically. Her emotional account also underscores the point made by Chrystina Stanford – sexual assault is common, but it is not normal. Finally, we bid a sad farewell to our much loved co-editor Lucy Parry, as she heads over to Europe to begin the next stage of her career. As her parting gift to us, Lucy reflects on her time here at BroadAgenda, focusing on the difficulties she encountered while sourcing appropriate stock images for the blog. Turns out, if you’re not under the age of 25, white, and find eating lettuce leaves hysterically funny, representative images are sometimes very hard to come by.

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NewsBrief: Week 3 April 2017


Another busy BroadAgenda week with a whip around the world. In India we examine the role rural women are playing as critical change agents in local forest management, and how that may now be under threat. Back home, Law professor Margaret Thornton explains why giving birth is not like "buying a bag of chips", as one male judge suggested. Not surprisingly she's calling for greater transparency in judicial appointments. We look at how gendered marketing by toymakers helps shape kids gendered preferences. And we explore a timely analysis that shows the direct link between a nation's women's rights and its democratic strength.

In the news ...

The Peta for Peter's seat saga, left Kelly high and dry, in a week that's focused on women in high places under siege. A swanky, stylish Gladys Berejiklian turned cover girl for Good Weekend; after Gail Kelly shared some sage advice about straightening our shoulders. The Stella Prize for writers highlighted sexism in the sector; and we learnt that Australia's female judges have cracked the gender pay gap! (ok ... by less than half a percent, but still worth popping corks!) Globally, China's lack of women has men marrying robotic ones (what about the rust?) And in the UK the heat over heels and ban on flat shoes at work has law firm employees sharpening their stilettos. Happy Reading!

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NewsBrief: Week 2 April 2017


This week we spotlight the gender gap in workforce participation, and ask how Australia will meet its G20 promise to cut the gap 25% by 2025. Dr Susan Harris Rimmer has 3 snappy ways to help make it happen. Should we follow the EU lead and have designated Female Entrepreneur Ambassadors? We talk medicine and name calling: the "de-professionalizing" of women Doctors. And we deconstruct the structural barriers to women working in medical specialisation in the UK.

In the news….

The Women and National Security conference got the mandarins nattering. Known for her careful and measured comments, Foreign Affairs boss Frances Adamson gave her own department and all its past chiefs a gender slap down. Meanwhile, the Defence Chief talked up the virtues of diversity, but with no defence force ever headed by a female, and none likely in the near future, it got the audience ... checking out their shoes. Globally, the gender pay gap is all the buzz, with the UK launching live reporting; and Google in trouble for "systematically" underpaying women. In the US Hilary Clinton slapped down Russia; while Ivanka Trump's 'behind the scenes' advocacy for women was scoffed by Scarlet as silly silence. Happy reading!

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NewsBrief: Week 1 April 2017


US President, Donald Trump dished up plenty of material for satirists when he spoke at a Women's Empowerment event. While at the other end of the spectrum Hong Kong's new chief is calling on women to step forward; and Iceland is cracking down on 'proof' of pay parity. Meanwhile back in Australia, more proof that gender diversity strengthens business performance; Victoria kicks a gender goal with women on public boards; yet the ASX200 takes a gender tumble thanks to one exit - and now we are 9! And back in the US, bad news about Millenials and gender equality on the home front.

And on BroadAgenda …

Post CSW we take a look at SDG 3 and 5, along with a powerful program set up by two Canberra women to tackle the horrifying rate of maternal mortality in PNG. The founders of 'Send Hope Not Flowers', share the challenge and change a simply idea can generate. BroadAgenda co-editor, Dr Pia Rowe, returns new vigour to that old adage 'the personal is political', and shares the story of political activism through MamaBake. And we salute Eva Cox whose excellent and widely published post IWD commentary urges us to think more deeply about ... the point of it all. Happy reading!

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NewsBrief: Week 3 March 2017


This week's talk swirls around politics; how women are faring and fitting in - or not! Former PM Julia Gillard gives a frank and sobering account of sexist skulduggery. In Western Australian, a record number of women win seats in the state election; while the Liberal party gets a toasting for its lack of women. Labor star Kate Ellis's political drop-out calls for new thinking. Saudi Arabia comes under global media attack for launching a council to empower girls with no girls or women in sight. And the US Women's March brings good news for the office supply industry. And the funniest spoof on female multitasking you'll ever see...

And on BroadAgenda …

We’re only 2 weeks old, and flying forward. More blogging on women in politics, and how what ‘she’ does is judged on a different scale to what ‘he’ does. We take a tough look at ‘elite’ feminism and what happens when personal progress masquerades as ‘women’s empowerment’… and we drop in to the Pacific Feminist Forum. Happy reading!

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NewsBrief: Week 2 March 2017


Welcome to the BroadAgenda NewsBrief - a weekly, curated snapshot of news and views around gender equality, with a keen eye on issues such as leadership, diversity, governance, economic empowerment and the political participation of women. It’s a handy tool to help you keep across the latest media chat from Australia and around the globe, as well as an update on our latest blogs. Enjoy! 

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NewsBrief: Week 1 March 2017 


Happy International Women’s Day – an auspicious occasion, as today marks the birth of BroadAgenda - our bold new blog, for broads, blokes, brawn and brain!This week we sit down with Vice Chancellor, Deep Sani, to dissect gender equality and his own experience of ‘bias’. In Nepal we examine how gender quotas are causing seismic cultural shifts. We explore the merits of the Women’s March in the US; the gender politics behind TV taunts; the dynastic nature of female leadership in the Philippines; the economic empowerment of poor women in Fiji; and ask some hard questions about academic life in Australia and why women are side-lined. And that’s just for starters!In the mainstream media this week the talk is all about pay gaps, feminism and TV politics: as old Aunty ABC tosses her nephews aside for IWD! Sunday’s #AllAboutWomen event, with headline act Geena Davis, highlighted just how far we have to go before gender parity on screen, in media … and across numerous sectors (did she really say 730 years!). And just in case we need reminding, the latest gender pay gap report from the WGEA brought more bad news. Happy IWD2017!

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NewsBrief: Week 4 February 2017


This week all eyes have been on the work place. The Fair Work Commission cut Sunday penalty rates, with the female dominated retail industry copping the biggest blow. Meanwhile bad press due to poor numbers of women has forced the Victorian Liberal party and NSW Trains to holler for more women. In Trump world, the President’s campaign advisor has a new spin on anti-Trump protestors; according to Kellyanne Conway they … “just have a problem with women in power”. And while all the buzz talk was around the Oscar’s oops moment, more sober souls were focused on the ongoing pay disparity between white women actors and those of colour.

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NewsBrief: Week 3 February 2017


This week has seen the spotlight on one of the oldest issues to beset women – abortion and a woman’s right to self-determination when it comes to sexual and reproductive health. The domestic story focused on Queensland, while Trump’s gag order ignited global debate. Meanwhile back home the hot topic of banning the burqa was rekindled in Victoria, while overseas a Swedish government delegation to Iran coped a media thrashing for covering up with hijabs. While many were celebrating Valentine’s Day with loved ones, girls in Ethiopia flipped the day into a fundraiser.

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