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.

No we don’t need a ‘Wellness Barbie’

As if we need further reason to interrogate the ubiquity and bastardisation of the concept of self-care as brought to you by the modern day wellness industrial complex, last week Mattel debuted a new “Wellness” Barbie collection. “Barbie knows the way to be one’s best is to give yourself the best care!”, proclaims the advertising copy. “Barbie introduces girls to the benefits of self-care through play,” it goes on, as it spruiks various accessories, including athleisure, a face mask play set, f

The case Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer is really making

Donna Rotunno, Harvey Weinstein’s defence lawyer, made headlines last week when she gave an interview to the New York Times’ “The Daily” podcast, in which she was asked by journalist Megan Twohey, one of two journalists who broke the Weinstein story for The Times, whether she had ever experienced sexual assault. “I have not . . . because I would never put myself in that position . . . I have always made choices from college age on, where I never drank too much. I never went home with someone th

'It's a matter of holding ground': where to for gender equality in 2020

Australian women celebrated historic anniversaries in the march towards gender equality in 2019 – the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in South Australia and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the principle of equal pay for equal work – but in 2020, we stand at a crossroads, as key campaigners warning a fight will be needed jut to "hold ground", quite apart from working to close persistent gaps. A few key milestones this year will focus minds on areas in which equality has yet to

This government must commit to providing firefighters everything they need & more

As we brace ourselves for an unprecedented heatwave here in Australia, and more bushfires — part of what may be one of the most brutal, relentless bushfire seasons since modern records began — many of our thoughts are with the firefighters battling those blazes. Well, mine certainly are. And I hope those of our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison are too, though we would have no way of knowing as he enjoys a “private” family holiday reportedly in Hawaii.

How 'domestic democracy' became so popular Reese Witherspoon bought in

While women have gained ground on many fronts – we are more likely to be represented in senior leadership in public life and the private sector, the gender pay gap has narrowed, but not yet closed – on the home-front, little has changed since the dawn of the push for equality. When it comes to the so-called “chore-wars” and the related issue of what is know known as “domestic democracy”, we are stuck. According to a new report released earlier this year by Men Care, a fatherhood campaign workin

Why it is a woman's job to babysit a husband?

Mr Young said that upon hearing he was inclined to go on breakfast TV to defend Prince Andrew, his wife said: “Are you (expletive) insane … It’s as if alienating 99 per cent of the country isn’t enough for you. You have to hunt down the last one percent and make sure you piss them off, too.” Um, yes Toby, she has a point. But can I politely suggest that you should have considered that advice before using your platform to pen a column blaming women, yet again, for men’s abuse.

Has our "himpathy" for powerful abusers finally been exhausted?

In her 2017 book, “Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny” Cornell philosophy professor Kate Manne coined a new term, “himpathy”. Like “mansplaining” and “manspreading” before it, other new words that entered the feminist lexicon giving women a word for something they long experienced but struggled to articulate, himpathy was quickly embraced by women the world over. It is the “inappropriate and disproportionate sympathy powerful men often enjoy in cases of sexual assault, intimate partner violence,

I still think there's a case to be made for feminist marriage — and here's why

Earlier this year, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics and author of the new book Happy Ever After, dropped a rather sizeable truth bomb. Despite decades of fairy tales and a multi-billion-dollar wedding industry conspiring to persuade heterosexual women that marriage and children are a one-way ticket on the happiness express, it's all a lie.

When sexual assault survivors speak out, they help change the culture that enables it | Kristine Ziwica

Chanel Miller (previously known as “Emily Doe”), the convicted Stanford rapist Brock Turner’s victim, has waived her anonymity and given her first television interview to the US program 60 Minutes. Timed to coincide with the publication of Miller’s memoir, Know My Name, it is a powerful riposte to the rape culture that enabled Miller’s assault – and led many to blame her, the victim.

Woke dads have finally arrived in Australia. It's about bloody time

Australian dads are finally going woke — and it's about time For years now, fathers elsewhere in the world have been going woke. For those unfamiliar with progressive vernacular, that means live to social justice issues and, in the context of fatherhood, attuned to the demands of a new, more engaged version of fatherhood and equal parenting. Now, blessedly, the trend has finally arrived on Australian shores.

Sorry, what?? Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the gender pay gap is “closed"

You’ll have to forgive me. I’ll do my best to be coherent. But you see, I’ve been on the sauce for about 24 hours. I popped the cork on that bottle of champagne we ladies have been keeping on ice for exactly fifty years (since this country’s historic equal pay case established the principle of equal pay for equal work) waiting to hear the glorious news that the unjust gender pay gap had finally closed. On Monday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered the good news at Question Time. Oh joy! But j

Only big moves will speed up the end of the unjust gender pay gap

Australia’s lack of action on the gender pay gap, marked by government indifference and corporate double speak, is shameful — and it’s time to step up. Today, the Chifley Research Centre and PwC will launch the report, Closing the Gender Pay Gap, which contains some of the strongest language in relation to the issue here in Australia that I, a long-time equal pay campaigner, have ever seen.

Why parenting books are rubbish. Confessions of a former ghost writer.

Confession. Many moons ago, when I was starting out in journalism, I worked for a time at a parenting magazine, where, among other things, I ghost wrote a column for Dr. Spock. By then, the esteemed doctor, whose influential 1946 tome “Baby and Child Care” launched a thousand imitators and a parenting book industry, was well into his 90’s and not quite up to the demands of a regular column. But “Dr. Spock” was a brand, thus it fell to me, a 22-year-old editorial assistant with no children of h

It's time we got off the Lolita Express

As we approach the second anniversary of #MeToo in October, some may ask what, if anything, has been achieved? Over the weekend, one of the most high profile alleged offenders to be snared in #MeToo’s net, the wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein, died by apparent suicide while in jail awaiting trial on charges he recruited dozens of underage victims – some of whom he trained to recruit others – as part of a sex trafficking ring he ran for at least five years in the early 2000s. What happens next

The PM telling women to ‘contact the police’ is not good enough. Leaders must act on sexual harassment allegations

How many more women need to flay themselves publicly and disclose experiences of sexual harassment before leaders take action? Kristine Ziwica reflects on Australia’s long overdue #MPToo moment. On Tuesday night, a story broke in the Sydney Morning Herald/ The Age that, while shocking, was hardly surprising. Reporter Eryk Bagshaw told the story of two women in the Liberal Party, Chelsey Potter and Dhanya Mani, who allege they were sexually assaulted while working for senior Liberal politicians
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