The Female Eunuch – 40 years later

2010 was the 40th anniversary of Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch. I decided to use the occasion to re-read the book and write a post about my thoughts. That was in November. The problem is that when I had finished I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to say. In conjunction with the The Female Eunuch I also read An Untamed Shrew, Greer’s unauthorised biography written by Christine Wallace. And of course at the start of the year I read that Louis Nowra piece in The Monthly.

I’ve been perplexed about which approach to take when writing the piece. An encompassing history of what the book means to Australian women? An historical perspective? The book’s flaws? All of these approaches felt too wide, so I have decided to write about my own relationship with the book. Continue reading →

Because I am a Girl

Last week I stumbled across Plan Australia’s Because I am a Girl program. To use their words:

‘Because I am a Girl’ is Plan’s global campaign designed to fight gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls out of poverty. Across the globe, girls are at the bottom of the social ladder, deprived of the same opportunities as boys. For example,research has shown that girls are more likely to suffer from malnutrition; be forced into an early marriage; be subjected to violence or intimidation; be trafficked, sold or coerced into the sex trade; or become infected with HIV.

Take two minutes to watch this great video:

Here are two facts that motivated me to get involved:

  • Girls are less likely that boys to survive to their first birthday.
  • A woman or girl will reinvest 90% of her income into her family.

The other exciting news I was interested in this week was Kevin Rudd announcing that Australian has pledged $225 million dollars of foreign aid for women and children. This is great news and will be interesting to track how the UN’s  “global strategy for women’s and children’s health” progresses over the next few years.

Gender gap in retirement

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the difficulties faced by women being financially independent in old age. It seems I’m not the only one.

Marian Sawyer posted a great article on ABC’s The Drum about women and the 2010 election.  In it she discusses the recent change in the number of women in parliament and the need for a successful ‘women’s policy’. Her argument for this is:

Low pay is just one of the factors contributing to gender inequality and poverty in old age. The skewed distribution of paid and unpaid work is another, with women still far more likely to have interrupted careers in the paid workforce. Men are in the paid workforce for an average of 39 years, women only for 20 years.

The article, and resulting comments, are well worth the read. Continue reading →

Election 2010

Given that I blogged recently on the number of women in Australian politics, and got such an interesting response from it, I thought that I should follow-up with the likely statistics from this month’s elections.

I can’t articulate it any clearer than the Women in Boards media release from this week. It’s well worth the read.

Here is my first blog if you didn’t get a chance to read it.