Profound gender bias at the Australian Human Rights Commission (Part 3)

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)

See also:

(Update 7 June 2024: The AHRC blocked me from accessing their Twitter stream)

Our response to domestic violence cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach (6 May 2024)

Feminism’s workplace gulags, by Bettina Arndt (18 January 2024)

Landmark research study finds clear evidence of pro-women/anti-men bias (28 September 2023)

New sex discrimination commissioner urges wider lens to tackle inequality (12 September 2023)

Is BHP discriminating against men? by Bettina Arndt (15 August 2023) Note reference to the actions of the AHRC here