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.

On childcare, we can't 'waste the crisis' and go back to the old system

In a remarkable turn of events, yesterday Education Minister Dan Tehan urged the parents of Australia to send their little comrades to kindy. Well, not quite. But he did announce that all childcare – yes, essentially all — would be free from Sunday night onwards for the next three months, with the strong possibility that the new arrangements would remain in place for as long as six months. “These are extraordinary times,” the Minister told the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas in an interview shortly a

The one thing I know for certain is that I feel uncertain

I have been a bit quiet lately. As someone whose profession is commentary and analysis — I “write from a position of expertise” on issues of gender equality and feminism (so my professional bio says) – I have felt that, on this occasion, I don’t have any particular expertise to offer. And more importantly, in recent times I haven’t had any of the certainty that usually comes along with my belief in my own expertise. If I say something, I usually have confidence in my facts and my ability to bac

Weinstein verdict is ultimately an unsatisfactory victory

Annabella Sciorra, Mimi Haleyi, Jessica Mann, Dawn Dunning and the nearly 90 women who have come forward with allegations of sexual assault and rape against the now infamous film producer Harvey Weinstein. These are the women I’m thinking about today. And the millions of women who bore their soul as part of #MeToo, hoping Weinstein’s trial would deliver accountability – not just to an abhorrent individual, but to an abhorrent system that enabled men like Weinstein to go unchecked for so long.

The Weinstein verdict is coming but it's no 'referendum on #MeToo'

Yesterday, the jury at Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial began deliberations. A verdict could be imminent. However, regardless of the outcome, the result will not, as some have suggested, be a “referendum on #MeToo”. At best, a verdict could deliver some form of justice for some victims and — by proxy — others. Also, one alleged predator could be held accountable and locked away, ensuring more women are not harmed by his actions. At worst, the verdict could highlight, yet again, the bias of the cr

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.
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