Women haven’t exactly been absent from the election campaign, but some of their appearances have been rather trivial.
Moments in which women have featured prominently in the election campaign include:
– The bumbling comments of One Nation candidate, Stephanie Banister, who referred to Islam as a country, and later withdrew from the election
– Tony Abbot referring to the Liberal Candidate for Lindsay, Fiona’s Scott’s ‘sex appeal’
– Comments on facebook by Brisbane make-up artist Lily Fontana who prepared both the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd and the opposition leader, Tony Abbott ahead of the People’s Forum in Brisbane that suggested Kevin Rudd was rude to her
– Controversy over Fiona Scott’s comments linking asylum seekers to queues at Nepean Hospital and traffic jams on the M4
– Discussion on the fashion choices of Tony Abbott’s stylish daughters
Audio – Karen Sowada – there is a need for a more serious conversation about issues affecting women
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Karin Sowada is a former Democrats Senator who is also the Chair of the Anglican Deaconess Institute and writes on politics for Sydney Anglicans. Karin believes there is a need for a more serious conversation about issues affecting women. Karin welcomes Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme, but says there needs to be an acknowledgement that women’s responsibilities as mothers don’t just stop at 6 months. For women to continue in the workforce, there needs to be an ongoing discussion about part-time employment options, flexible work arrangements and access to affordable childcare. She’d also like to see women being acknowledged for their roles as full-time mothers and their contribution to the volunteer sector.
Karina also believes there needs to be more of a discussion about recent changes to the way single mothers receive welfare. Mothers whose oldest child has turned 8, and who were receiving parenting benefits, are now transferred onto Newstart (unemployment benefits) in an effort to encourage them into the workforce. She argues that single mums need more support to make that transition and that women’s contribution as full0-time parents should also be valued.
Karin Sowada talks to Hope Mornings about poverty, single mums and other issues relevant to women.