Feminism & Women's Rights

Issue 41 - February-March 2013

By Kavita Krishnan

[Following the brutal sexual attack on the 23-year-old paramedical student, mass protests erupted in Delhi and cities across India. On December 19, students and protesters marched on the house of the Delhi chief minister.

By Tithi Bhattacharya

[Tithi Bhattacharya recently returned from India, and wrote in the US Socialist Worker on January 10 on the protests against rape and sexism that are shaking the country. This reprint is slightly abridged.]

By Kim Bullimore

On September 21, ABC employee Jill Meagher was abducted as she walked home along Sydney Road in Melbourne after a night out with friends. Meagher was brutally raped and murdered, and her body was dumped in a shallow grave.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – Ignoring outrage and mockery at home and overseas, a town in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh is pressing ahead with a by-law banning female passengers from straddling motorcycles on the grounds that doing so reveals a woman’s “curves”.

Issue 40 - November-December 2012

By Jessica Lenehan and Jasmine Curcio

Between 6000 and 7000 people, an unprecedented number for Melbourne, took to the streets on October 20 for Reclaim the Night 2012.Since its inception, Reclaim the Night has been a staple of feminist activism.

By Helen Jarvis

The tragic and unacceptable abduction, rape and murder of young Irish woman and ABC radio staffer Jill Meagher in Melbourne on the night of September 21 has justifiably sparked a public outcry in the social media and also on the streets. All instances of violence against women deserve the outcry that the Jill Meagher case attracted.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – A suicide in Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh by a teenager who was publicly humiliated by the province’s abusive sharia police has again put the spotlight on laws that discriminate against women.

By James Crafti

A 2011 Roy Morgan Poll found that 68% of Australians support same-sex marriage, up 6% from a Galaxy Poll taken the previous year.

Issue 39 - May-July 2012

By Lindsey Collen

Port Louis – Victories, even partial, are rare in these times. The Mauritian political party LALIT would like to share an important new development in the class struggle and struggle for women’s emancipation in Mauritius.

Issue 38 - February-April 2012

By Allen Myers

Phnom Penh – The Cuban embassy in Cambodia marked International Women’s Day with a gathering that also focused on the Cuban Five, the anti-terrorist fighters unjustly imprisoned in the United States.

By Zely Ariane

Jakarta – This year's International Women's Day in Indonesia marks an increase in attacks on women. The upsurge in violence against women, particularly sexual violence, and recent government plans to raise fuel prices, threatens to burden all women, especially poor women.

By James Balowski

Jakarta – Commemorating International Women’s Day, activists and workers took to the streets across Indonesia on March 8 to demand equality and an end of sexual violence against women. Sexual harassment in the workplace and discriminatory laws were also a major theme at many rallies.

Issue 36 - October-November 2011

By Vivi Widyawati and Zely Ariane

Around 100 women and men took part in a rally, Miniskirt Protest – Women against Rape, at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia in Thamrin, Jakarta, on Sunday, September 18. Dozens of women, including several activists from Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women), wore miniskirts, as a statement that rape has nothing to do with the way women dress.

Issue 33 - June-July 2011

By Kathy Newnam

Around 350 people attended the Feminist Futures Conference, held in Melbourne on May 28-29. Before the conference, there was heated debate on the conference Facebook page about the panellists for the conference, much of the focus being on the inclusion of Melbourne academic Sheila Jeffreys in the program.

Issue 31 - April 2011

By Zely Ariane

Jakarta – International Women’s Day is still much less known among Indonesian women than May Day is among Indonesian workers. This is not surprising because the struggle for the liberation of women developed only several years after reformasi – the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998.

By Kathy Newnam

[This article is based on a speech delivered to the International Women’s Day protest in Brisbane Square held on March 5. The rally of around 100 people marked the 100th year of IWD.]

Issue 30 - March 2011

By Zoe Kenny

The story of women in Indonesia is inseparable from the development of the Indonesian nation itself. Indonesia was swept up in the global wave of anti-colonial national liberation movements in the mid-20th century, declaring its independence in 1945 after almost 350 years of Dutch colonial rule.

Perempuan Mahardhika

Perempuan Mahardhika (Free Women) National Network Statement – March 8, 2010

Issue 29 - February 2011

By Virginia Brown

The ongoing socialist revolution in Cuba is an inspiring example of what can be achieved for women’s rights when the capitalist agenda no longer dictates.

By Kathy Newnam

[Below is an abridged version of a speech delivered at the December 9-10 rallies in Brisbane to defend WikiLeaks and for freedom for Julian Assange.]

Issue 28 - November-December 2010

By Kathy Newnam

Queensland’s anti-abortion laws were dealt a sharp blow on October 14 when a Cairns couple were acquitted on charges brought under those laws. For almost two years, the political and legal establishment had tried to have the couple condemned, yet it took the 12 working people on the jury less than an hour to conclude they had no case to answer.

Issue 27 - October 2010

By Kathy Newnam

On October 12 a couple in Cairns will face trial under Queensland’s anti-abortions laws, with the prospect of years in prison if the charges are upheld. The case represents one of the most severe attacks on abortion rights in this country for decades.

Issue 26 - September 2010

By Lulu Garcia Larque

The situation of women in Latin America today seems both encouraging and disgraceful. In different spheres women have achieved both professional and political recognition. Many top professionals are women, and we even have female presidents, like Michelle Bachelet, Cristina Kirchner or the recently elected president of Costa Rica.

Issue 25 - August 2010

By Kathy Newnam

A north Queensland couple will face court in Cairns on October 12 on charges brought under the state’s anti-abortion laws. A woman is facing charges for intent to procure a miscarriage, which carries a penalty of up to seven years in prison. Her partner is facing charges for assisting her, which carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.

By Linda Waldron

Julia Gillard’s successful challenge to Kevin Rudd for leadership of the federal ALP on June 24 delivered Australia its first female prime minister. Sydney Morning Herald journalist Josephine Tovey wrote the next day that, “While her role as the first female Prime Minister will make her a hero to many women, it is her actions that will keep her being one ...