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.

Spin a pay gap? No, it's never 'good news'

I suspect Libby Lyons, the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency’s director, is getting a little fed up with the Morrison government’s repeated, overzealous attempts to spin the gender pay gap. Judging by her comments in the press release accompanying the release of the latest gender pay gap figures today, she’s not having it. The headline crows: The national gender pay gap has dropped to 13.4%, a decline of 0.6 percentage points over the last six months. But before anyone — especially T

Didn’t know or didn’t want to know? The 'who knew what when' debate we should be having

The single overarching response I’ve had to the whole “who knew what when” debate that’s followed Brittany Higgins’ devastating rape allegations, is this: while Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his team can play whack a mole regarding who knew what when about this specific case, they certainly can’t claim they didn’t know that Australia’s Parliament and political workplaces have a problem. Watching them try to make that stick has been one of the most infuriating aspects of this past week. And

A Parents Strike? Yes, I quite like the sound of that

Forty-five years ago, an estimated 90 percent of Icelandic women took a “day off” to protest their low pay and marginalisation. Schools, factories and shops shut. Fathers were forced to care for their own children while women marched in the street and sang. Equal pay legislation was passed soon after — and in another five years, Iceland became the first European country to elect a woman as head of state. The women of Iceland were inspired by women in the US, who five years earlier invited women

What’s it going to take for the Prime Minister to ensure safe workplace for all women – not just someone’s 'daughter'?

Over the years, as story after story of abuse in political workplaces registered on our collective radar, I have asked myself: what’s it going to take for the Prime Minister to actually do something. Like, really do something, aside from offer his standard line that women should “go to the police” or make some cosmetic changes to the government’s woefully inadequate sexual harassment policy for political staffers.

The 2020 budget fails women in more ways than one: its response to sexual harassment is pathetic

This week marks the 3rd anniversary of the #MeToo movement going viral in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations. If that has you in a reflective -mood — wondering how far we’ve come and how far we have yet to go — it’s worth noting that buried deep in the 2020 budget papers and Women’s Economic Security Statement (WESS) is the government’s pathetic response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s sexual harassment inquiry.

Women are not financially illiterate. They need more than condescending advice | Kristine Ziwica

Debate about recent and upcoming changes to superannuation, including the early release scheme and the proposed rise to the superannuation guarantee, has been running hot for a few months now. Likewise, the fact that women have been disproportionately hit by the pandemic has also been the subject of much commentary. But an issue related to both those current debates that hasn’t gotten anywhere near as much attention as it should is women’s economic security.

Yes Pandemic Parental Burnout is a thing and you’re not alone

Dr Nisha Khot, a Melbourne-based OB-GYN and the mother of two children, ages 12 and 18, says it crept up on her. When the pandemic first arrived on Australian shores in March, she thought to herself, “Our kids are older, we’ll be okay.” Then it slowly dawned on her that everything wasn’t going to be okay. As an essential worker, she struggled to keep up with the demands of her job, especially as many of her colleagues fell victim to the virus or they, likewise, struggled to meet the demands of

Will the pandemic help or hinder an Australian “women’s wave” in politics?

In June, Chris Wallace, an associate professor at the University of Canberra’s 50/50 by 2030 Foundation, wrote a piece for The Conversation in which she claimed that Morrison’s decision to end free child care and single out the overwhelmingly female child-care workforce for the early end of Job Keeper “should have women storming for preselection across Australia’s political spectrum”.

Our Minister for Women is missing on how the COVID-19 crisis is disproportionately impacting women

I live in Melbourne, so it’s been back to lockdown (and home-schooling my two primary-school-aged children). And as I’ve had a bit of time on my hands – in keeping with my tendency to forensically examine the Government’s track-record on all things gender equality — I decided to take a close look at what the Hon. Marise Payne, Australia’s Minister for Women, has had to say about the well-documented, disproportionate social and economic impact of COVID-19 on women.

Josh Frydenberg wants a COVID childbirth boom. Time to give him 'the talk' on where babies come from

Women of Australia, I know you’re all super busy with, among other things, remote learning, sorting out the additional unpaid care and domestic work associated with COVID-19, and making home-made face masks. But I need to interrupt your COVID day with an urgent request: we also need to “school” our nation’s Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg. It has recently come to my attention that he doesn’t know where babies come from. It’s time to have “the talk”.

We're getting a 'bloke-covery' response to a 'she-cession': How will women respond at the ballot box?

The Coalition Government’s response to the economic fallout of COVID-19 – namely its focus on a “blokecovery” to what is, by all accounts, a “she-cession” — has led some to speculate that the prioritisation of men and male-dominated industries in stimulus measures will not only prove bad economic and social policy, as numerous economists have already warned, but bad politics. Women voters might punish the Coalition at the next Federal election.

We've had the inquiry. Now we have the Heydon allegations. So what next for women and sexual harassment?

Since the revelations about former High Court justice Dyson Heydon’s alleged serial sexual predation broke in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Monday, there’s been much talk about what next for the reckoning we need on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. What happened to Australia’s original #MeToo movement, which arrived on these shores shortly after the Harvey Weinstein allegations broke in the New York Times and the hashtag went viral, including here in Australia?

Fears of a “Mum-cession”: experts warn of pandemic motherhood penalty

As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our collective health and the health of the economy, plunging Australia into its first recession in 29 years (something economists have more aptly called a “she-cession” due to the over-representation of women amongst job losses), experts are now warning of a “pandemic motherhood penalty” that could have long lasting consequences for mothers.
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