Jerusalem embassy
Minister for Women Marise Payne

Where in the world is the minister for women? We’ve known for a long time that COVID-19 has had a disproportionate effect on women. Firstly, women make up the majority of the frontline workers responding to the crisis. Then child care support was cut off. And then the “overhaul” of the JobKeeper subsidy, which will impact twice as many women as men. If only there was, I don’t know, some kind of ministry that kept an eye on these things.

Oh, that’s right, we do have a minister for women. Her name is Marise Payne. So where has she been on all of this? Aside from co-announcing a parliamentary inquiry into domestic violence (which followed a much-maligned attempt at the same in the Senate), statements from Payne addressing the gendered effects of COVID-19 have been few and far between.

Oh, we tell a lie: there is a whole $1.8 million awarded to four organisations under the Women’s Leadership and Development Program (with a reference to COVID-19 tacked on).

To put that figure in context, it’s about $600,000 more than was awarded under in the same program in 2018 and is less than 20% of what the government handed to Foxtel last week, partly to show more “women’s sports”.

Not in a month of Sundays A couple of odd choices over the weekend at The Age. Firstly, here’s their assessment of the return of the Super Netball league to our television screens:

Leaving aside the reviewer’s amazement in 2020 that netball has outgrown the confines of “schoolgirls and workplace bonding”, it seems strange to assign a bare minimum pass mark to a sporting event you can’t possibly have seen yet.

Further, while the lockdown is driving every Melbourne newsroom crazy, we really take our mask off to the social issues story “blanket approach to lockdown life” which informs us that a Brunswick couple is “sleeping more” than they used to. Presumably, they’re Sunday Age readers.

These are the Campions my friend After the surprise announcement she was returning to The Daily Telegraph — feels like after-work drinks could get kind of awkward? — Vikki Campion delivered her first piece, about the struggles of rejoining to the workforce as a young mother.

It’s a decent bit of writing, but the chief revelation (if one can call it that) is the cameo from her partner, former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce, displaying his natural state: utter bewilderment.

It’s 7.30am and the toddler at the centre of the storm is “shaving”, and my just fed, bathed and dressed one-year-old is shoving both fists into a tub of peanut butter.

Their father, blind to the bloody face and peanut butter arms, repeatedly asks of the bin liner of dirty nappies: “Is this the bin?”

Earlier, they wake me, screaming “TOAS”, and throwing a tub of butter at my head. Their father lays unharmed in slumber, avoiding the crack of dawn demands by the toddler army.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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