International women's day rally gender inequality wage gap
A rally for International Women's Day 2018 (Image: AAP/Joe Castro)

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

New data released as part of International Women’s Day puts Australia at least 12 years away from financial equality and indicates a major gender disparity regarding senior jobs and working arrangements.

According to The New Daily, PwC’s 2019 Women in Work Index has Australia 15th in the world for female economic empowerment for the second year running. Women are majorly underrepresented across both political and business leadership roles, making up just 7% of CEO roles in major companies, but overly represented across unpaid care work and part-time and casual roles.

While bridging that gap would require structural reform, a McCrindle Research survey indicates only 33% of working men agree that would-be female leaders are held back by flexibility requirements compared to 55% of women listing it as a barrier.

ABCC CRUSHES DISSENT

The Australian Building and Construction Commission has threatened workers with $5000 fines for  “unlawfully” joining the ACTU’s national day of action on April 10. The union urged 250,000 workers to strike as part of an industrial relations election campaign.

According to The Australian ($), ABCC commissioner Stephen McBurney has threatened individual fines for construction workers who stop work for the rally without written permission from their employer. The Federal Court has previously issued fines of more than a thousand dollars for workers who “unlawfully” attended a rally in Perth.

The ACTU has slammed the threat as “a disgraceful attempt to intimidate working people out of exercising their democratic rights”. 

WA’S DAY IN THE SUN

Western Australia’s environmental protection authority has produced strict new emissions recommendations just a day after the state Labor government announced plans for a structured energy transition.

The Guardian reports that Western Australia’s EPA has slammed Australia’s lack of federal policy and proposed their own carbon offset scheme for large projects. The AFR ($) and Australian ($) report that Resource Minister Matt Canavan has taken time from spruiking new coal-fired power plants to slam the EPA directive as a threat to WA’s growing natural gas sector.

While the state government has reiterated support for LNG, it unveiled proposals on Wednesday for a road-map for distributed energy and a “whole of system” planning report for renewable transition.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Basically you could argue that their concern was not that I would lose the election but rather that I would win it.

Malcolm Turnbull

The former prime minister describes the 2018 leadership spill as “a peculiarly Australian form of madness” to British media.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Morrison’s recession hysteria comes back to bite him as economy softens

“Politicians facing re-election — especially those behind in the polls — utter all sorts of nonsense. But normally they avoid throwing around the word “recession”. The R-word has a psychological potency that can inflict significant damage. This week, however, Scott Morrison, the mugging, smirking, empty man in the Lodge, has been throwing it around with abandon, insisting that Labor would drive the economy into recession. Not even getting humiliated by David Koch on the subject a couple of weeks ago deterred him.”


Does Australian politics have a millennial problem?

“While Australia has seen a similar rise in inequality, public white nationalism, and mean temperatures, Soutphommasane argued that millennials have a tough time getting real power to combat any of it. Australia’s preselection conventions and party politics, he argued, mean millennials are either barred from positions of power or enter parliament “already compromised, rather than armed with conviction”. We asked young Australians across the political spectrum for their views. Is there any reason why Australian politics couldn’t produce an AOC? Do millennials really have it tougher than their predecessors?”


The cardinal and the king

“The Prince of the Church and the King of Pop are an odd couple — few would have expected George Pell and Michael Jackson to ever share screen space. Yet this week we are focused on both, for similar reasons. In the case of Pell: the lifting of a suppression order on a December guilty verdict for child sexual assault charges, dating back to 1996. For Jackson: a devastating new documentary, Leaving Neverland, prompting a watershed MJ reckoning.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

‘I’m not afraid of going to jail’: Former Defence lawyer charged over document leak

Coalition claims Labor’s plan for more refugees will cost $6b more

Winter expressess discontent over funding for Wilkie’s electorate ($)

Defence chiefs forced to reduce anti-terror operations to pick up Border Force slack

Victoria sends $1.1 billion bill to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

‘Even lifetime supporters need water to stay rusted on’: Loyal Nationals abandon party

Premier Gladys Berejiklian pledges $450m to clear major road bottlenecks ($)

LNP to favour Greens to unseat Jackie Trad ($)

Huawei sues US Government over ‘unconstitutional’ product ban as trade war heats up

U.S. Jewish groups slam Israeli decision to let Kahanist Party run in election

THE COMMENTARIAT

The clearer we are about women’s mental health needs the betterJulia Gillard (The Sydney Morning Herald): “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s a good time to talk about what’s different for women and men in terms of mental health. Across the course of their lives, one in three women experience an anxiety condition compared to one in five men. One in six women will experience depression compared to one in eight men.”

Mainstream feminism still blind to its racism — Amy McQuire (IndigenousX): “Intersectionality, grounded in critical race theory, is now used by many white feminists but has been watered down to a buzzword: a superficial display of ‘inclusiveness’ whereby it is used to deflect rather than interrogate the way race impacts the lived experience of gender, class, gender identity, sexual orientation and disability.”

Opportunity to end shame of violence against women ($) — SA Attorney-General Vickie Chapman (The Advertiser): “Voices for Change SA provides training and opportunities for survivors of domestic and family violence to become media advocates and speakers. It is part of a nationwide campaign to support survivors to tell their story to help others while raising awareness and changing community attitudes that are harmful towards women and tolerant towards violence.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Australia

  • Multiple events will be held across the country to celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, with some event highlights listed below.

Canberra

  • The House of Representatives economics committee will speak with the heads of Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.

Sydney

  • Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Opposition Leader Michael Daley will participate in an ABC leaders debate.

  • The NSW Greens will launch public transport policy.

  • Former diplomat Stephen FitzGerald, author Sara Dowse and former ASIO director-general David Fricker will present keynotes at the launch of the Whitlam Institute’s new touring exhibition “Spy: Espionage in Australia”.

  • Knitting Nannas Against Gas/Greed will hold an IWD march at Parliament House over a lack of government action on climate change.

  • A Local Government NSW debate will be held at Parliament House, during which David Leyonhjelm is expected to tell councillors not to “get involved in areas outside your remit”.

Melbourne

  • An IWD rally will be held at the State Library, while a new photo exhibition “50 Iconic Women” will be launched across Melbourne Central.

  • The Federal Court will hear closing submissions for the AWU-ROC raid case.

  • The Essential Services Commission to release the draft Victorian Default Offer with Dr Ron Ben-David.

Geelong, Victoria

  • MPs Paul Fletcher and Sarah Henderson will open the National Disability Insurance Agency National Office.

Hobart

  • Tasmanian public unions will hold a press conference on stalled wage negotiations with the state government.

Launceston, Tasmania

  • Cancer Council Tasmania will present annual cancer research grants.

Perth

  • Sir Bob Geldof will help launch the “Better Life Outcomes” national clean water pilot project with the Master Plumbers and Gasfitters Association for World Plumbing Day.