feminist news round-up 15.07.12
Park Geun-Hye, daughter of a former South Korean dictator (who was assassinated) is now aiming to become the first woman president in the nation’s upcoming election. She is operating on a platform of increasing social equality and forging closer diplomatic ties with North Korea. Voters seem to like her – a recent poll gave her a 38% approval rating, 20 points ahead of her nearest rival. She is likely to become the presidential candidate for her party. As great as this is, South Korea’s Parliament has a very large gender imbalance, with only 10 per cent of the seats being occupied by women.
LPAC to Lobby for Rights
A group of high-profile lesbians on Wednesday launched a political action committee dedicated to raising cash and campaigning on gay and women’s rights issues in America. Featuring celebrities such as Jane Lynch and Billie Jean King, the organisation aims to raise over a million dollars for the US 2012 election in order to campaign for equal rights such as same-sex marriage. They will also have a huge focus on women’s rights by campaigning to ensure that women will continue to have access to abortion and other reproductive health services. LPAC is looking to support a range of candidates, though it will be focusing first on the upcoming presidential election.
Appointing to the High Court
Later this year, two Australian High Court justices will retire. It is the job of the Attorney-General, Nicola Roxon, to find candidates to replace them. The factors Roxon is likely to take into account when making her decision are: the state they are from (High Court appointments tend to favour candidates from Sydney), cultural background, professional background (there aren’t many academics or law reform professionals appointed to the bench), and gender. It seems likely with her two next appointments, the judiciary will become a bit more diverse.
Rapists in ADF ranks
A recent report on the Australian Defence Force has revealed that rapists who were never prosecuted are likely to now be high ranking officers. As lip has already included in previous news round-ups, the report stated that, ‘From the 1950s through to the early 1980s, many boys aged 13, 14, 15 and 16 years of age in the ADF [Australian Defence Force] suffered abuse including serious sexual and other physical abuse’. The fact that those abusers are still in the defence force and may have quite senior roles is a new fact to come out of the report, most of which is not available to the public. Defence Minister Stephen Smith said that a royal commission, a formal apology and compensation were among the options for the government when it decides on its response to the report, and their plan will be announced in the near future.
Census Reveals More Stay-at-Home Dads
The recent Australian census showed that numbers of fathers opting to stay-at-home and take care of their children has increased, with 17.6 per cent of all Australian families with children under 15 now being raised by men. This marks a 7 per cent increase since the last census in 2006.
Girlfriends Refused Entry
A woman who was holding hands with her girlfriend was refused entry into a Prahran bar, Hoo Haa. The woman was allegedly told to ‘put on a dress’ in order to gain entry to the premises. Alternatively, management suggested that they come back on a Wednesday night which are apparently ‘more liberal’. The claim appeared on review website, Urbanspoon, late last week. Hoo Haa co-owner Paul Kasteel was out of state when the incident allegedly occurred and says that he will investigate.
Boys to get Gardisil
In a world first, Australia has opted to vaccinate school boys as well as girls with the Gardisil vaccine. Gardisil works to help prevent the human papilloma virus (HPV), which can cause genital warts and cervical cancer. While only females are at risk of getting cervical cancer (obviously), males are able to carry the strain, which can be spread via sexual activity. Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek has said, ‘It is estimated that a quarter of new infections will be avoided by extending the vaccine to boys.’
‘Men Only’ Car Spots
In a ludicrous move of sexism, Gallus Strobel, mayor of the German town of Triberg, has had parking spaces painted with a male or female symbol depending on their level of difficulty. The ‘easy’ spots are labelled with a female symbol, while clearly it is a scientific fact that only men can handle the trickier ones. Or something. It’s both bizarre and offensive.
(Image source: 1)