Kristine Ziwica

Kristine Ziwica is a Melbourne-based columnist and consultant who has 20 years' experience working in Australia, the United States and the UK on human rights and gender equality campaigns.

The budget proves Labor is losing touch with women voters

In the days before Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered his third budget, veteran Canberra press gallery journalist Michelle Grattan wrote that as the Albanese government looked to an election next year, “holding up Labor’s female vote will be vital”. She added that women would be a “prime political target” of the budget. She’s not wrong. As I listened to Chalmers deliver his budget speech last night, my chief question was whether he had scored a bullseye in that regard. And, if not, how far had he

A seat at the domestic violence roundtable

This year marks a half-century since a group of Sydney feminists led by Anne Summers broke into two adjoining vacant houses in the Glebe Estate in Sydney and claimed squatters’ rights. They recognised men’s violence against women was a crisis and they refused to wait one more day for anyone’s permission to take action. Their action – to establish Australia’s first domestic violence refuge, Elsie – was a turning point that put violence against women on the national agenda.

The murder of women is an Australian scandal. So how do we defeat the monster tormenting our nation’s soul? | Kristine Ziwica

This year alone, 19 women have been killed in Australia, according to the Australian Femicide Watch. The majority of those women, just like the 74 women murdered in 2023, were allegedly killed by someone known to them. Fifty years ago a group of Sydney feminists broke into two adjoining vacant houses on the Glebe Estate in Sydney, “Elsie” and “Minnie”, to establish Australia’s very first domestic violence refuge.

Rats learn faster than men in the Liberal Party

I begin this column with a long and heavy sigh. Now, I don’t often find myself in common cause with female Liberal politicians, but on this occasion, I would like to invite them to join me. Now that we’ve gotten that little act of bipartisan sisterhood out of the way, what am I on about? When it comes to the Liberal Party’s ongoing “woman problem” — more specifically regarding the party’s men — recent events are an object lesson in what behavioural scientists have long known: rats do, indeed,

Women left feeling 'betrayed' and 'devastated' by NDIS review

Leaders in the disability sector say the process surrounding the National Disability Insurance Service (NDIS) review, released last week, “bled dry” experts in the women’s sector, who have long advocated for the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to develop a gender equality strategy. They’ve now been left feeling “betrayed” and “devastated” by a review they say fails women with disabilities. Care services in industrialised nations like Australia have long been moving towards an “indiv

I started the year writing about women being murdered. Nothing has changed

Despair and frustration characterised this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on Saturday, and are casting a shadow over the following 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Having worked in the women’s safety sector and reported on this issue as a journalist for more than 20 years, 10 of those here in Australia, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this bad.

The predictable backlash after the recent fallout from the Lehrmann trial can’t undo #MeToo’s momentum | Kristine Ziwica

Reports of the Australian #MeToo movement’s demise, or the suggestion that it has somehow been mortally wounded by recent events following the trial of Bruce Lehrmann, are misguided. The entirely predictable backlash we are currently experiencing – a backlash driven by actors intent on preserving a culture that has always punished complainants – can’t take away from the movement’s many gains.
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