Weekly Wrap

Keep up with who's doing what in the gender equality space ...

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Weekly wrap-up: 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 much more action is required from governments to close gender gaps, some progress has been made in three policy areas.

Weekly wrap-up: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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.

 More NewsBrief here ...

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.

 More NewsBrief here ...

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!

 More NewsBrief here ...

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!

 More NewsBrief here ...

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!

 More NewsBrief here ...

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!

 More NewsBrief here ...

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! 

More NewsBrief here ...


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!

More NewsBrief here ...

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.

More NewsBrief here ...

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.

More NewsBrief here...