April 2020

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

Gender news, April, Week 5

  1. Uber offers free rides for people fleeing domestic violence. Global Citizen. 29 April

Uber has announced it will provide free rides to those fleeing domestic violence in countries around the world. 

2. UK aid efforts to tackle gender equality marred by inaccuracy says watchdog. The Guardian. 29 April.

Efforts by the UK government to achieve gender equality through its aid programs need to be better managed and more transparent, according to the financial watchdog.

3.  Coronavirus crisis will see 7 million unplanned pregnancies and 31 million gender-based violence cases, the UN says. Business Insider. 29 April.

If lockdown continues for six months, the UNFPA forecasts it will result in 7 million unplanned pregnancies and 31 million gender-based violence cases.

4. How e-voting could close Canada’s political gender gap. The Conversation. 28 April.

Allowing MPs to vote electronically would go a long way to promoting gender equity in Canadian politics.

5. Three things lockdown has exposed about working and parenting. NYTimes. 27 April.

With children popping up in Zoom meetings, it’s impossible to hide that raising children is a round-the-clock responsibility.

6.  Women Are Buying ‘Essential AF’ Shirts, Candles, and Wine GlassesThe Atlantic. 27 April.

The coronavirus pandemic has separated American workers into “essential” and “nonessential” categories, and in recent weeks, the language has started appearing on all kinds of Etsy products.

7. Here’s how to achieve gender equality after the pandemic. The Mandarin. 27 April

As we stand in the middle of this historic inflection point, now is our moment to come together as a global community to close the gender gap once and for all.

8. Our response to COVID-19 is male-centric. Scientific American. 26 April.

We don’t know how the coronavirus may affect women and men differently, which prevents us from delivering appropriate and personalised care.

9. And there’s a silver lining for fathers in the COVID crisis. The Age, 26 April

The pandemic will accelerate changing social norms and expectation, including fathers wanting to spend more time with their children.

10. Trump-supporting protesters are wearing handmaid's outfits – do they not see the irony? The Guardian, 25 April

We’ve reached a level of dystopia that even Margaret Atwood could have imagined.

11. Trump and the nasty horrid women reporters, Ms., 24 April

Future historians will have a field day with Donald Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings. The televised spectacles reveal a great deal about the state of American culture. 

12. Women academics are submitting fewer papers during Coronacrisis. The Lily. 24 April

Men are submitting up to 50% more, new research reveals.

13. Barack Obama’s team watched Julia Gillard’s misogyny speech whenever they were “really annoyed” with Tony Abbott. The Guardian. 30 April.

Former Obama adviser says Australian PM was ‘very sure of himself without knowing what he was talking about’.


Podcast: Don’t touch your face: Women politicians are flattening the curve. Foreign Policy.

Hosts Amy Mackinnon and James Palmer take a look at New Zealand, where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been credited with not just flattening the curve, but crushing it all together. 


2020 April: Week 4

  1. Leigh Sales highlights sexualised social media abuse women in public eye face, Women’s Agenda, 22 April

TV journalist Leigh Sales took to Twitter to highlight the ‘sexualised social media abuse’ women in the public eye constantly face. The trolls soon followed.

2. Canada tops civil service gender parity rankings while USA slips down, The Mandarin, 21 April

Canada has topped a league table ranking G20 countries by the proportion of women among their senior civil servants, with a 48.1% figure putting it 1.8 points ahead of second-placed Australia. 

3. COVID-19 has laid bare how much we value women’s work and how little we pay for it, The Conversation, 21 April

Until this crisis measure, Australian childcare was among the most expensive in the world – more expensive than private schooling. Now it’s deemed an essential service – and is free.

4. Fear of ‘Covid hospitals’ leads women to pursue home births, NYTimes, 21 April

Midwives are seeing a surge in demand from pregnant women who want to deliver their babies at home or in birthing centres.

5. Trump’s Opening Our Country Council: Where are the women? Ms. 20 April

President Trump announced his “Opening Our Country Council” last week—with 220 men and a paltry 20 women.

6. Why did women vote for Hitler? Long-forgotten essays hold some answers, The Conversation, 20 April

The discovery 30 historical essays by women on ‘why I joined the Nazi Party’, not only serve as historical curios, but as a warning as to how ordinary people can be attracted to extremist ideology at a time of social distress. 

7. No, female leaders are not better at fighting COVID-19. Spiked, 20 April

Stop fawning over Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel – it’s sexist and embarrassing.

8. New Zealand’s Prime Minister might be the most effective leader on the planet. The Atlantic, 19 April.

Jacinda Ardern’s leadership style, focused on empathy, isn’t just resonating with her people; it’s putting the country on track for success against the coronavirus.

9. Flexible working for dads tested during coronavirus lockdownABC, 19 April

University of South Australia researcher Ashlee Borgkvist has been studying why most men do not take up flexible working options. Now they have no option.

10. How women became the most essential workers in America, NYTimes, 18 April

One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential.

11. The pandemic and the female academic, Nature, 18 April

What the lockdown will reveal about the ‘maternal wall’ that can block faculty advancement.

12. Who can they be now? Life sucks for men not at work, The Australian, 18 April

Caroline Overington on why men are struggling more with the COVID lockdown.

Added extras


Coronavirus: The Big Questions

UN Women on the importance of female leadership in fighting coronavirus, FT journalist Vanessa Kortekaas speaks to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka about the role women are playing in the fight against the pandemic, why they must be visible on the global stage and the impact of this crisis on the fight for gender equality.

Dinner ladies save the world

ANU’s Professor Sharon Friel heads up this podcast on how to solve the world’s problems. Each episode features super smart academics - the Dinner Ladies - chatting over ‘virtual’ dinner about Covid-19 in the context of politics, inequality, ethics, civil liberty, climate change and more...



2020 April: Week 3

Gender News – April 11-17

1. The reality is, it’s incredibly hard, The Atlantic, 15 April,

Preexisting staffing shortages and dismal pay are colliding with a crisis that’s testing the limits of the nurses and health aides – women - caring for the sick and elderly.

2. Women leaders are doing a disproportionately great job at handling the pandemic. So why aren't there more of them? CNN, 15 April

Taiwan, Germany and New Zealand all have two things in common. They were ahead of the game in beating coronavirus and they have female leaders.

3. I hope it makes more politicians read the book: Stella Prize winner Jess HillWomen’s Agenda, 15 April

Interview with Jess Hill, whose book on domestic violence Look What You Made Me Do won the prestigious 2020 Stella Prize for writing by Australian women.

4. Undervalued and unseen: Australia's COVID-19 frontline workforce, Power to Persuade, 14 April

An overview of how women are differentially impacted by their employment and unpaid work by RMIT’s Lenora Risse

5. It’s not just you. In some meetings women can’t get a word in. NYTimes, 14 April

Overlapping chatter. Interruptions. Few nonverbal cues. For women, virtual meetings can mirror the inequities of in-person meetings.

6. Malaysia's lockdown pays little attention to women's needs, Nikkei Asian Review, 14 April

A ministerial directive that only the head of the household can leave the house to shop has highlighted the country’s worsening gender record.  

7. Why gender marketing repels more than sells, Forbes, 13 April

A considered piece on why gender marketing – such as low calorie beer for women – can backfire.

8. The 'Karen' meme is everywhere and it has become mired in sexism, The Guardian, 13 April

Countless TikTok videos are dedicated to the Karen meme. What was once a way of describing women’s behaviour is now too often about controlling it.

9. It’s an ‘agonizing’ choice: Women grapple with the sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden, The Lily, 13 April

With Biden as the presumptive Democratic nominee, the general election in the fall will pit two white men, who have both been accused of sexual misconduct, against each other. 

10. Helpline calls by family violence perpetrators ‘skyrocket’ amid isolation, The Age, 12 April

There has been a surge in calls to the Men’s Referral Service by men who have perpetrated family violence in the isolation period, or fear they will do so.

11. Will the Corona crisis lead to a gender role revolution? Not so fast. SMH. 12 April

Our new working conditions mean everyone is accepting the less-than-ideal, and forgiving mistakes. We have latitude for the messiness, whereas previously we paid lip service to it.

12. Female Staff at BBC put through humiliating trial to justify equal pay, The Telegraph, 11 April

The BBC has been accused of "intimidating" female staff by forcing them to prove they should be paid the same as their male colleagues.

2020 April: Week 2

  1. Today's Grandmothers grew up protesting. Now they have nothing to lose, The Conversation, 10 April
  2. Coronavirus has people working from home, which could have long term benefits for womenABC, 9 April
  3. Woman who revealed Lewinsky-Clinton scandal dies, BBC, 9 April
  4. Australia should follow France’s lead & use hotels to accommodate women experiencing family violenceWomen’s Agenda, 8 April
  5. Women accounted for almost 60% of March Job losses in the USYahoo Finance, April 8
  6. Can we achieve gender equality? Reuters, 8 April
  7. Father stunned by response after asking for help convincing daughters girls can be farmers tooABC, 8 April
  8. The women who chose to live kids-free in procreation-obsessed IsraelHaaretz, 7 April 
  9. Your son needs a feminist education just as much as your daughterThe Telegraph, 6 April
  10. Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics, So She Brings Pads to Women in NeedNYTimes, 5 April
  11. Did our employers just requisition our homes? The Canberra Times, 4 April
  12. Hey, President Trump, that’s Dr. Birx—not “Deborah”, Ms., 4 April


2020 April: Week 1

1. Malaysia’s coronavirus lockdown advice for women sparks sexism backlash ABC, 1 April

2. In some states coronavirus measures are effectively banning abortion Washington Post, 31 March

3. U.K. government changes regulations on abortion pills during the coronavirus outbreak Time, 30 March

4. Trump’s virus defence is often an attack, and the target is often a woman New York Times, 30 March

5. The safest sex you will never have: how coronavirus is changing online dating The Conversation, 31 March

6. Why do multinationals pay women less in developing countries WEF, 31 March

7. Pregnant during the coronavirus? Don’t Panic The Conversation, 31 March

8. Coronavirus and sex work Archer, 2 April

9. Coronavirus: I’m in lockdown with my abuser BBC, 31 March

10. The men who give up their spouses when they have cancer The Guardian 31 March

11. Scott Morrison announces free childcare during pandemic, Women's Agenda, 2 April

12. Why this economic crisis differs from the last one for women, New York Times, 31 March