Here is my submission concerning the development of an International Gender Equality Strategy. Oh, and DFAT = the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. This version was completed on 13 September 2023.
DFAT advises that it has invited public submissions in order to hear from people and organisations, and to inform the priorities for the proposed Gender Equality Strategy. Thank you for providing this opportunity for me to do just that.
DFAT suggests that four main questions to be considered when preparing a submission are:
What are international gender equality priorities?
What are the most effective approaches for achieving gender equality globally?
How can Australia best support efforts to achieve gender equality internationally?
What should the government/ DFAT consider when developing the new international gender equality strategy?
I think I’ll focus on point 4. I note too your assertion that the Government is committed to being a global leader on gender equality, and that the new International Strategy is intended to recognise gender equality as being central to Australia’s foreign policy, international development, humanitarian action, trade and security efforts.
To support this commitment, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises that it intends to develop a new International Gender Equality Strategy, in order to:
guide Australia’s actions to protect and promote the human rights of all women and girls*.
align with the commitments to gender equality made in the region by the Pacific Islands Forum, ASEAN and APEC. It will reflect global commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals, for example, on gender equality, climate change and human rights.
identify the opportunities for Australia, our region and our world for stability, security, prosperity and safety in achieving gender equality and the full and equal participation of all in our societies.
And as for the human rights of ‘all men and boys’*? Are they not human or simply not important? This seems rather reminiscent of another federal agency I wrote to recently. Now who were they? (Reference: https://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/inquiry-into-australias-human-rights-framework-2023/)
“The new International Strategy will reflect the Government’s commitment to achieve gender equality in Australia’s forthcoming first National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality, the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children* 2022-2032, and Australia’s National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2021-31” … “DFAT will also draw on the views and priorities shared in public submissions provided to inform Australia’s International Development Policy and Southeast Asia Economic Strategy.”
And as for a national plan to end violence against men and boys*? Sound of crickets (Reference: https://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/on-the-recent-increase-in-violent-crime-carried-out-by-women-and-girls/)
Just by way of background, the latest DFAT annual report that is available online is 2021-22. This shows that the percentage of ongoing staff in that department who are female is approx. 60%, which is consistent with the Australian federal public service overall. And no need to stress, some agencies have been further out of balance. Take WGEA for example (Reference: https://www.fighting4fair.com/uncategorized/weve-set-a-target-of-having-10-of-our-senior-management-team-female-by-2017/)
I shall begin by considering a central facet of this exercise, this being the notion of ‘gender equality’.
“Gender equality is when people of all genders have equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities. Everyone is affected by gender inequality – women, men, trans and gender diverse people, children and families. It impacts people of all ages and backgrounds.” (Source: https://www.vic.gov.au/gender-equality-what-it-and-why-do-we-need-it)
This definition of the term, as with most others, implies that an equivalent amount of attention might be expected to be given to, for example, men and boys in the community. And yet one thing that quickly strikes a reader of related reports and media releases is the almost complete lack of attention given to men and boys and the issues faced by them. DFAT’s reports are no exception.
To consider an example of this, let’s look at one particular item within the DFAT website. It’s entitled ‘Australia’s international support for gender equality’. The term ‘man’ features once in this report, and ‘boy’ not at all. In stark contrast ‘woman’ features 121 times and ‘girl’ 19 times. Thus men and boys, and their myriad issues and perspectives appear to be ‘missing in action’.
It is consequently quite farcical to suggest that this, or the plethora of documents like it, demonstrate genuine commitment to gender equality. What it does do, is to reflect a prevailing reality of a marked gender preference towards women. This preference is actively sought after by followers and devotees of feminist ideology. And they do not tolerate alternative views.
Some source material regarding feminism and its propensity to stifle debate regarding alternative perspectives on gender now follows:
Unfortunately this marked gender imbalance in favour of women/girls is also reflected in the amount of funding support provided for gender-related issues and initiatives in both the Australian domestic and international arenas. This issue is discussed in the following items compiled by me:
Is the pronounced influence of feminist doctrine appropriate in Australia’s dealings with other countries?
I would suggest that ‘no’, it is certainly not. Regardless of how one feels about the validity and usefulness of feminist beliefs in Australia, foreign countries are different places. Feminism has never been raised as an issue within the Australian political system – and subsequently adopted as a matter of policy. It is merely something that a small minority of Australians believe to have merit, and who push strongly for greater and greater female privilege to occur.
Other countries have different histories and different cultures and deserve respect, and to be allowed to make their own choices with regard to gender issues in the absence of carrots or sticks applied by the Australian government acting on behalf of the feminist lobby.
The current situation is, at best, an embarrassment. And yet another printed report from the government, even one laden with woke buzzwords and abundant pictures of assertive women, won’t get us there.
What now follows is a copy of an email I sent on 15 August 2023 to Josh Burns MP, the Chairman of the Australian Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights.
I was able to attend the Committee’s meeting in Brisbane today, albeit all too briefly due to various other commitments, and the very short notice provided.
On 7 June I lodged a three page submission to the Inquiry. I have since been in touch with the Secretariat on a couple of occasions to confirm that it would be accepted, speaking again with Geoffrey F. this morning. Meanwhile 269 submissions have been processed and published. I suggested that the fairest approach would be to process submissions in order of their receipt.
Geoffrey did not respond to that suggestion but today advised (again) that they would try to process my submission in the next few weeks. This, assuming it occurs, would take the time frame re: processing my submission out to three months.
Today’s meeting raised another query. On what basis were some people/organisations able to present to the Inquiry in person?
Did they volunteer or were they selected by your committee? If the former then why was this not mentioned in your website or advice given directly to those who had tendered submissions? If the latter, then obviously those submissions that had yet to be processed (e.g. mine) were ruled out of contention.
In each of the cases mentioned above I consider the Inquiry has handled the relevant matter oddly, if not completely inappropriately.
All in all, a disappointing effort thus far.”
(Should a response ever be received from Josh Burns then I will post a copy here)
On 18 August 2023 my submission was finally published online (#309) and I was advised as follows:
“I am writing to advise that your submission has been accepted by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights. The submission has been published with your name withheld on the committee’s webpage as Submission Number 309. You are now free to circulate your submission to other parties, should you wish to do so. We will also be providing your submission to anyone on request.
Your submission is protected by parliamentary privilege. Parliamentary privilege refers to the special rights and immunities attached to the Parliament or its members and others necessary for the discharge of the parliamentary functions without obstruction and fear of prosecution. This means that you cannot be prosecuted or disadvantaged because of anything that you have provided in evidence, or because you gave such evidence.”
In my original submission I noted that “the online sources listed in this document, drafted by me unless indicated otherwise, form the bulk of my submission to the Inquiry.” The next development was my discovery that the hyperlinks to supporting information contained in my submission were no longer functional.
On 21 August I was advised that “Committees generally deactivate links to personal websites in submissions. If you would like to provide an addendum with the URLs spelled out in full, we can append it to your submission.” I provided a proposed addendum and was advised that this would be uploaded. I checked the Inquiry website on 23 August, clicking on my submission only to learn that “There seems to be a problem with the page. If the problem persists please contact us.” As I did. And as of the evening of 23 August my submission was available online. <Party-popper duly popped>
In closing, upon my last checking, 318 submissions had been published by the Inquiry’s Secretariat. My initial impression was one of apprehension in the face of what seems to be a surfeit of formulaic ‘woke’ and/or pro-feminist rambling. Where’s all that diversity and inclusion when it’s needed? Where’s the support for men & boys?
Ah, but things could have been so much worse! Read about the experience endured by esteemed lobby group ‘One in Three’, in their dealings with another federal inquiry.
Have you ever seen a feminist online advocating that those promoting the welfare of men and boys should spend less time criticizing feminism, and more time doing things to help men & boys? Yes? Well let’s take a look at an example of what happens when you seek to provide a positive input …
In early June 2023 I emailed a submission to the Inquiry into Human Rights now being conducted by the Australian Government. Note that the deadline for submissions was 1 July 2023, so I had gotten in well before time. I then sat back waiting for my submission to be accepted by the Inquiry and published on their website. Once this occurs I’m able to also provide a copy here in my website, this being in accordance with the Inquiry’s guidelines:
“After a submission is received by a committee, you cannot publish or disclose it to any other person unless or until the committee has authorised its publication. You cannot share your document until you hear from the committee that it can be published” (Source)
My submission remained unpublished as of 2 August 2023, and so I sent the following email:
Attn: Chair of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights
“My submission to the current Inquiry has been with the Secretariat for two months now.
I appreciate the earlier advice from them regarding the large number of submissions that had been received, and the time taken to process them.
Indeed I note that 185 submissions are now listed on your website. Most of these submissions were, however, presumably lodged subsequent to my own. I am somewhat puzzled by this as it would seem that processing the submissions in the order in which they were received, would be the fairest and most impartial approach to take.
Would you kindly confirm when I might anticipate my submission appearing online? Would you also please advise when further details regarding the proposed Brisbane forum will be made available?
Thank you for your assistance with this matter.
On 4 August 2023 I was advised as follows:
“Thanks for your email. As my colleague mentioned, the processing of submissions is a manual one and each submission is considered individually. Publication of submission is ongoing, and will continue in the coming weeks.
Arrangements are also underway in relation to the Brisbane hearing, and further details will be published on the committee’s webpage prior to the hearing.”
That’s right, zero mention of the issue of the method of ordering re: the processing of submissions, nor was a date provided as to when my submission would appear online.
Why don’t they remove all doubt and simply state that if people choose to be critical of the current priorities of the Australian Human Rights Commission, then they shouldn’t even hope to have input into future policy formulation.
Hey, maybe I’m wrong. I hope I am. Let’s see shall we?
On 6 July 2023 the Government announced the name of the person who will take on Kate Jenkin’s previous role with the AHRC.
Here is the text from an article that appeared in ‘Women’s Agenda’:
“Professor Anna Cody is Australia’s new Sex Discrimination Commissioner
Professor Anna Cody has been appointed as Australia’s new Sex Discrimination Commissioner. The Dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University has been selected to succeed Kate Jenkins, whose term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner ended in April. Professor Cody will join the Australian Human Rights Commission for a five-year term, beginning in September.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Professor Cody was appointed as Commissioner following a merit-based selection process, and that she would bring with her a wealth of experience in advocating for women and fighting discrimination.
“Through her work in Community Legal Centres, on the Board of the Legal Aid Commission of NSW and her role now as Dean of the School of Law at Western Sydney University, Dr Cody has a deep understanding of the systemic discrimination Australian women still face,” Dreyfus said in a statement on Thursday.
Dreyfus said Professor Cody will be tasked with promoting and advancing the rights of Australians by tackling discrimination based on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status and other protected attributes in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.
She will also be integral in the Australian Human Rights Commission’s delivery of the Respect@Work: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report (2020), first handed down by Kate Jenkins in 2020.
President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher, also welcomed Professor Cody to the high-profile role.
“Professor Cody’s extensive experience has brought her into contact with women and girls from diverse backgrounds and perspectives including First Nations women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, women with disability and LGBTQIA+ women,” Professor Croucher said.
“She will also play a pivotal role in implementing the significant Respect at Work reforms to prevent workplace sexual harassment.
“We are delighted to have someone of her calibre join the Commission to advance the work of gender equality and defend the rights of LGBTQIA+ people under the Sex Discrimination Act.””
Kind of light with regards to mentioning the existence of male humans? Sure was. And the same deficiency was replicated in all of the articles/media releases that I’ve seen thus far.
Fingers crossed that Ms Cody can and will subsequently provide a more open, balanced and insightful contribution to the human rights debate.
(Note: The first blog post in this series of articles can be found here)
Thus Crikey didn’t simply grovel, it took the somewhat unusual step of also deleting the article in question from their website. So if you’d like to read the article and form your own view of the matter, well tough, as you’ll need to search high and low to find yourself a copy. You might also wish to read various papers on the topic that have been prepared by Bettina Arndt (example).
I’ve read the Crikey article and I can’t fathom the amount of venom it’s attracted. The author doesn’t accuse anyone of anything, he simply nominates and briefly discusses a number of possible scenarios. I could point to many pro-feminist/woke-authored papers that should have sparked greater outrage, and were far more worthy of removal. Anyway, I’ll study Guy’s article again in coming days and perhaps my view will alter. But I doubt it.
Considering the following points:
the rather large question marks still posed by the Higgins matter
the corresponding manner in which our feminist-saturated media deals with (or fails to deal with) stories about men and boys, and
that we seemed to be making progress in terms of the media tackling issues with their eyes a little more widely opened.
I’m more inclined to #FacePalm #sigh. Oh, I dunno. Surely I’m not alone in finding this episode to be both very disappointing and worrisome regarding where-ever it is that the media, government and sundry woke cohorts are heading?
And the silence that now surrounds the issue suggests that those who might otherwise demand answers, have gone to ground in the expectation that woke screamers will bay for the blood of anyone who dares lift their heads from the trench.
One point that has been raised, and understandably so, is the figure of AUD$3mill that was earlier suggested as the sum that Brittany received from the government. Brittany has stated that she didn’t receive anything close to this amount. So how much and why?
Surely you would think that someone would lodge an FOI request to clarify at least this point. But nope – silence.
Anyway we’ll see what, if anything, emerges in coming days.
On 15 March 2023, pursuant to section 7(c) of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011, the Attorney-General referred to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights the following matters for inquiry and report by 31 March 2024:
A submission to the Inquiry into Australia’s Human Rights Framework
Dear members of the Committee
Thank you for extending this opportunity to offer my thoughts in relation to the work of the Inquiry.
That item within the Terms of Reference that my submission primarily addresses is:
“Whether existing mechanisms to protect human rights in the federal context are adequate and if improvements should be made, including:
to the remit of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights;
the role of the Australian Human Rights Commission;
the process of how federal institutions engage with human rights, including requirements for statements of compatibility”
It is my impression that the Australian Human Rights Commission exercises some, if not most, of its responsibilities through a lens of fashionable ‘woke’ assumptions, beliefs and ideologies, including those associated with gender feminism. I do not believe that this should be the case. I believe that the rights and the welfare of all substantial demographic groups within the Australian community should be equally and accurately acknowledged, valued and supported.
The online sources listed in this document, drafted by me unless indicated otherwise, form the bulk of my submission to the Inquiry.
Gender matters are most likely touched upon by all Commissioners, but the focus in this regard centres upon the work of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner. All those staff appointed to this position have, to date, been female – which I believe to have been inappropriate.
I think I am correct in stating that at least the last two incumbents declared themselves to be determined and committed followers of feminist ideology. I would suggest that partly as a consequence of this, during that time no significant programs were undertaken by the Commission in which the primary focus was on the rights and welfare of men and boys. I have sought to clarify this belief via requests for confirmation addressed to the Commission, an example of which is provided on the final page of this submission.
I discuss this perceived gender bias at the commission in the following blog posts:
If my observation is correct then the question must be asked as to why such a marked imbalance – a clear example of actual sex discrimination – is considered to be acceptable. Feminists appear inclined to excuse double-standards like this on the basis of an assertion that women are substantially worse off than men, and have been for much of history. I reject such a view entirely, and if the relevant government agencies were willing to undertake the appropriate reporting then the actual situation regarding the genders might finally be made clearer for all. Instead, and for the time being, the widespread occurrence of Gamma Bias and of heads deeply buried in the sand shall continue to prevail.
I further believe that those groups and individuals consulted by the Commission should not be filtered or excluded on the basis of the degree to which their beliefs happen to align with those of the Commissioners and their staff.
I would note that for several years now I have been blocked from accessing a social media account of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, although not the Twitter account operated by the Commission as a corporate entity. This blocking of information sources and alternative perspectives has become a common occurrence in pro-feminist web sites and/or news outlets. I believe this behaviour to be unhelpful and inappropriate, and doubly so in the case of publicly-funded organisations. This subject, and my associated dealings with the Human Rights Commission, are addressed in the following two blog posts:
Here’s a link to the tweet that alerted me to a study produced by staff from various Australian academic & pro-feminist lobbyist organisations. Goodness, you had to wade deeply into wokist waffle to come across a finding that the researchers were obviously not wishing to have trumpeted from the rooftops.
Yesterday I noticed that I had been barred from accessing the Twitter feed of the Diversity Council of Australia (@DivCouncilAus). I wrote to them seeking details of their basis for taking such action:
I am writing to you today having just noticed that I have been blocked from your Twitter feed.
My Twitter account is @Fighting4Fair. I would be interested to know why, and whether this shall be a temporary or permanent situation.
If I had posted threatening or vulgar material then I would totally understand your response, but that would not appear to be the case.
Would you kindly provide a URL to information regarding DCA rules in relation to your staff, members and others use of your social media accounts? If there are no such rules then perhaps I could trouble you to advise me as to how blocking my input aids, or is even consistent with, your goals in relation to diversity and inclusion?
I look forward to hearing from you in due course …”
(Postscript: It’s now many weeks later and still no response. I also sent a note to the CEO of DCA, Lisa Annese, seeking the provision of their guidelines in relation to the management of social media accounts. If and when I receive a reply to that note, I will post a copy here.)
“There’s a lot of men suffering the same Abraham, men are less likely to report it though. Its a two way street. I found it degrading after having my bipolar partner restrained by police to be put in an ambulance, that the literature given to me and having called the help line, that it was all geared towards women. Even the men’s help line, when called and told of being involved in domestic abuse, being questioned about what I’d done to abuse her.
You know when she’s off tap and I’m being pushed to the limits, I could just knock her block off, I can handle myself, if it was a bloke doing it, it wouldn’t even be an issue, but its a woman and mother of my children, I’m better than that. My kids have had to witness it for years, they even ask how i endure it without retaliating. But its my job to be their role model, not sport stars or entertainers. I stay composed, controlled. I was safer in Afghanistan or Iraq. It’s time for men to stand up and be more vocal. I’ll start it off.”
“Its not the violence although she has slashed my car tyres to stop me from leaving and has threatened me with a knife on many occasions. It’s the threats to kill herself, or ringing my work, or on many occasions showing up at work because I won’t do exactly what she asks. Several suicide attempts, what am i to tell my kids if I stay at work and she rings and tells me she’s taken an overdose and i keep working. The ambulance wont come on their own anymore when she loses it, the police have to come, because she is violent to the ambulance driver. I’d post videos, but I don’t want her identified on the internet. My kids have been embarrassed enough, they don’t need all their friends knowing.
I said I would start this off, all my friends on here know now, but no-ones going to use it to try get to me, most are smart enough to know better. Like I said if it was a male that was threatening me it wouldn’t be an issue, I did my time in conflict zones, I can handle myself. My pay goes into an account she controls, I get an allowance. I got my pay put into my own account awhile back and she went to our head office and made a scene, nearly got me sacked. So I changed it back to stop her going back. My boss has said to me how I manage to be early every day, get through my day and churn out a high standard work is beyond him. Never late, never take a day off, always try to be upbeat. I do what i do because i am my kids role model, not some sports star or celebrity, I set a standard, I tell them not to react, stay calm and I practice what I preach. (Source)
“I have encountered similar violence by a wife towards her husband and I can promise you, it’s no laughing matter. Especially when men are often brought up to never lift a hand up against a woman. Thankfully, they are no longer together, but she still has most custody of their beautiful little boy. She has gone out of her way to use the son to hurt him, but thankfully family, friends and even a judge has seen through her and have provided him with much needed support. He is a lovely dad who was snared by a vicious, vindictive woman” (Source)
“Predictably the top comment is from a woman ridiculing the incident. He doesn’t sound a particularly great husband but would you have found it as amusing if a man had ripped off his wife’s breast because she wasn’t a good wife? Nope, didn’t think so. The comments here just show the gulf in society’s attitudes towards violence to men and women from the opposite sex.”
“The number of women convicted for domestic violence rose by 30% in the year to April 2015, from 3,735 to 4,866. It marks an upward trend – the number of convictions involving female perpetrators is now six times higher than it was ten years ago”
In a comment he contributed to this article, Chad Tindale wrote:
“Police were once called because my girlfriend, at the time, was stabbing the bathroom door (behind which I was locked) with a knife. When the police arrived, she was still drunk, and still holding the knife. They told us to keep it down so that they didn’t have to come back… then they left me there… with her… with the knife. You’re not a hero when you rescue a man from a woman, so it’s often just easier to leave them there… leave them with her… with the knife.”
On Saturday 22 October 2022 I sent two emails to an Australian tertiary educational institution regarding financial assistance and support programs that they provided to female students. Here is the first one that I sent:
Would you please confirm that there is no corresponding Men in Engineering scholarship. Assuming that there is not, would you kindly advise why a scholarship is maintained for women as it would seem to be inconsistent with current consensus regarding gender equality. I look forward to hearing back from you in due course.”
On 24 October 2022 they duly replied:
“Dear Mr. X,
QUT strives to create an equal, equitable and diverse teaching and research environment that is fully inclusive for all people. We are not a complete community until all individuals are included and afforded opportunity, regardless of their backgrounds, characteristics, beliefs and circumstances.
The Gender Equity and Diversity in STEMM Action Plan reflects QUT’s long-term commitment to addressing the under-representation of women, trans and gender-diverse people in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) disciplines.
Based on this action plan, women in engineering scholarship are committed to support people who identify as a woman, and increase the number of graduating female engineers, which at the moment is only 15% of all of the engineering students. This scholarship will help build a cohort of female future leaders in engineering professions.
However, there are other ongoing scholarships, that students who are not identifying as women are able to apply:
(Postscript: 6 January 2023, and thankfully a further response has come to hand … )
“QUT does offer a number of scholarship that are not gender specific including academic, equity and industry-funded (currently being updated for 2023) and they can be found here. QUT – Scholarships
Engineering has a long history of being a male-dominated profession. In several disciplines and areas of practice such as biomedical engineering, much progress has been made on this front. However, in other disciplines such as mechanical engineering the number hasn’t moved much in 30 or more years. I graduated in mechanical engineering in 1993 with only a few other females in my cohort of around 120. And the numbers haven’t improved significantly since then and neither has the aggregate proportion of qualified professional engineers who are female, which is still low at 13% (and the proportion of female engineers who are working in an engineering role is at 11%). (cited Jane MacMaster, FIEAust EngExec CPEng MRAeS Chief Engineer, Engineers Australia Women in engineering | Engineers Australia pp4)
With women severely unrepresented in the engineering work force QUT sets out to increase and support the number of females studying engineering by building a strong support program for students including engineering scholarships.
The scholarship program includes mentoring, flagship Engineers Australia events such as the Women in Engineering Annual Dinner, Young Engineers Australia Executive Breakfasts, GEMS student club events, National Association of Women in Construction events and Alumni panel and industry workshops.
The ongoing women in engineering program connects and showcases the opportunities for women in the engineering industry to help solve local and global challenges. It also encourages young people to consider an engineering career, join and invest in engineering and become the future of engineering.
We offer many funding and engagement opportunities to all of our Engineering students at QUT however to address the gender imbalance in the engineering industry we seek to provide a program that not only supports women but also encourages new entrants into the field of engineering.
I hope this responds to your query and if you are seeking additional research on Women in Engineering please let me know and I will send it through.
Other posts in this blog that are relevant to this subject: