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Why Women In Politics?

Australia, like many other countries, has a long way to go in achieving gender equality in politics. Women are underrepresented in all levels of government, from local councils to federal parliament.

Despite this, women have played a crucial role in shaping Australian politics and society, and their continued involvement is essential for achieving true equality and progress.

Why the Best Man Shouldn't Always Win

Gender Quotas Are Meritocratic: Breaking Down The Main Rebuttal to Gender Quotas in Parliament. “Quotas are an effective circuit breaker. They can help to break a cycle of prejudice that is perpetuated by habit.” Caitlin Chiam has a bone to pick about gender quotas.

The Teal Appeal: The Election of Female Independents

The 2022 election is around the corner. There has been a decline in the major party vote, speculation that come May we may be in a hung parliament and an influx of female Independents running in safe liberal seats. They have been coined the ‘Teal Independents’ and are not endorsed by any political party. It is likely that they will play are going to vital role in Australia’s 47th parliament. Join WCP in-house writer Mia Pahljina as she introduces us to the ‘Teal Independents’ and what they can bring to the table.

Ms Fanny Finch: The Woman Who Voted in 1856

An Australian woman cast a vote in 1856. It’s time we learned her name. You would not be blamed for thinking that women did not have the right to vote in Australia before 1902. However, that is not exactly true. Women did not have the right to vote between 1865 and 1902. Before 1865, as Ms Fanny Finch would tell you, it was anyone’s game.

Women and the Budget

With the federal budget delivered and the election around the corner, WCPs writing team delves into the Coalition’s proposed budget for 2022-23 and what its implications are for women. Using a combination of graphics and worded explanations, this article hopes to fill you in on where the money is going and what difference it might make.

Merkel: The Chancellor that made Herstory

As the curtains close on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 16-year long career, WCPs writing team Ella Banic, Caitlin Chiam and Bella Hosking walk us through her rise to power, her career achievements and her legacy for women in politics.

Unseen Women

WCP and ESSA have teamed up to create an article entitled ‘Unseen Women’. Covid-19 has ushered in a period of change. Despite its many catastrophes, the pandemic has also provided an opportunity for us to reshape our societal norms. In order to promote positive change, the woes of our society should be distilled to its bare essence. One problem in particular stood out to us: that women are often unseen, unheard and underrepresented. To tackle this, ESSA and WCP writing teams have come together to explore the misrepresentation of women from multiple angles, including economics, research, professional settings and everyday interactions. 

How does female exploitation fuel profit driven corporations? 

From the food we eat, the clothing we wear, to the screens we watch, nearly everything we know and use is a product of the corporate system. However, how much do we really know about the origins of the product and how it’s being made? Rebecca Chong's analysis reveals how female workers across the world are exploited in order to meet the insatiable demand for fast-fashion.

Domestic Abuse Against Women During the Pandemic

Domestic abuse cases in Australia have risen during the pandemic. Particularly, women are vulnerable to this abuse and the pandemic has constrained their access to a safe haven. Victoria's article provides an insight into this crisis and offers ways in which you can reach out and help.

Women Leading During COVID

The disorienting reality of the coronavirus pandemic has called for leadership and collective strength to help vulnerable citizens navigate this complicated era. WCP's writers decided to wrap this year up by writing a thought piece on women in leadership during this pandemic era. From the fields of politics, business and advocacy, we chose women in leadership who displayed courage, creativity and empathy.

Julie Bishop as ANU’s Chancellor

Amidst the turmoil caused by the release of Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)’s shocking report on sexual assault, ANU declared Julie Bishop its first female commissioner. Sophie Dwyer discusses the implications of this announcement, and the varying ways in which it was received.

The Empathy of Women in Politics 

Despite the fact that a sense of humanity is necessary for good leadership, women continue to be deemed too sensitive for the field of politics. Ingrid Coram discusses how the characteristic of empathy makes women better leaders, not weaker ones.

Backlash: Past Frictions and Future Directions

Emma Watson made headlines for her UN speech calling for greater male involvement in the push for gender equality. 6 years since Emma’s call to arms, men continue to be predominantly on the fringes of the discussion and policy formation. Trent Severin explores how concerns about the impact of measures or policies on their lives, confusion and misinformation all form the foundational barriers to not only a lack of support, but also potential backlash hindering progress that could otherwise be made.

Is a “Work-life Balance” Something That
All Women Should Continue Striving For? 

This article puts into question the accuracy of the term “work-life balance” that women constantly face, especially if they have (or want to have) a successful career and/or children. It draws a comparison between what is expected of women and men and their life ambitions. Lastly, it gives the reader an opportunity to think of this “balance” in another light.

Politics Is No Longer a Man’s Playing Field

In the past, women in politics have struggled to have their

contributions recognised, their ideas deemed radical and unfit

for a discourse created by men. Even if a nation appointed a woman to a significant political position, she had to battle the patriarchal hegemonies that benefitted her privileged male counterparts. However, women have refused to let male policymakers squeeze them out of the decision-making processes. Using the experiences of three female leaders, Meera Sivasubramanian analyses how women in power have dismantled the systematic oppression that a male-centric political system has exercised towards them.

Being an ‘Only’: Reflections on
Being a Woman of Colour in the Workplace

Being the only, or one of the only, women of colour in a workplace is a common experience for many. Experiences of being an ‘Only’ are wide and varied; however, the literature on the topic often focuses on the negatives associated with an Only status. Shashi Rajendra reflects on her own experience as an Only, including some of the surprising advantages this status provided her.

 Why Is the Gender Pay Gap Still So Significant an Issue? 

The gender pay gap has been a significant issue for many years. Despite the fact that it has been acknowledged by many, and even called to attention by notable celebrities, the pay gap is still prominent around the world. While this is partly due to outdated traditions and beliefs, there are other factors complicating the eradication of the gap. In an evolving society where women are increasingly independent and self-reliant, the issue of the pay gap arguably poses a larger threat than it did decades ago. Anushka Shah explores its sources.

The term ‘Queen Bee’ is not an uncommon term, as it is used in contexts varying from high school cliques to workplaces. At work, both men and women use the term to describe women in higher-ranking positions. Interestingly enough, studies show that this is not simply due to a personality trait shared by all female bosses, but is instead a coping mechanism in response to the struggles they face in the workplace.  Anushka Shah details some of the challenges faced by women in leadership roles.

 Consumption, Capital and Critique: 

 The Commodification of Feminism 

The advent of feminism as a mainstream concept has brands scrambling to put out ‘woke’ items. As a result, feminism is now more than just a movement – it’s a trend. But when corporations exploit and co-opt feminist discourse for the sake of a brief slogan emblazoned on a (likely unethically produced) shirt, whose aims are really being served? Angela Le explores the ways in which the commodification of feminism may undermine its basic underlying goals.

 What Does Feminism Mean to You? 

Feminism is quite the buzzword nowadays, but it can mean very different things to very different people. Within the broader feminist movement there lie many definitions of the word, some at odds with others. Last semester, we asked a group of our writers to each describe their own conception of feminism. Here’s what they had to say.

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