feminist news round-up 13.05.13
Paid parental leave for women (of calibre)
Tony Abbott’s choice of phrasing got him in a little strife in the battle between paid parental leave schemes when he told a press conference his model would actively encourage ‘women of calibre’ to procreate. The Coalition’s model would see women be paid for leave at the level of their income (up to $150,000) for 26 weeks. The policy would gain funds from a 1.5% levy on big business. Despite the controversy caused by the women of calibre reference, Abbott may have more juggling to do on the policy–some see the overall cost of the program as unmanageable and he may still be asked to modify it in the party room.
Record turnout for women voters in Pakistan
The Age reports an estimated 20% of female voters turned out yesterday to vote in Pakistan’s national election. A record 37 million women were registered to vote, despite threats from militant groups and social and familial pressures for females not to cast a ballot. It’s estimated that 40 million of Pakistan’s 86 million voters had never cast a vote before this election. Nawaz Sharif has reportedly claimed victory just hours ago, with the election of his centre-right party marking the first transition from one civilian government to another in Pakistan’s history.
Mother’s Day sees free breast screening funds
Health Minister Tanya Plibersek has announced $55.7 million will be allocated in Tuesday’s Federal Budget to free breast screenings for Australian women. The funding will broaden the age group offered free mammogram screenings from 50-69 year olds to 50-74 year olds.
Australia 10th best place to be a mum: Save the Children
A report conducted by Save the Children into economic, health and educational opportunities and frameworks in over 176 countries has ranked Australia the 10th best place in the world to become a mother. Australia is the only non-European country to be included in the top 10. The report highlights the need for nations to provide equal access to healthcare for all women across their populations, as well as the need to focus on preventable infant deaths occurring in the developing world. Basic investments in steroids and antiseptic for some nations may save millions of lives, the research said.