Commentary

Article

The original baby bonus

30 Jan 2014
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The idea that raising children should be recognised and rewarded as work remains relevant.

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The rights of property have always been more earnestly considered than the rights of the human being. The criminal who injures or appropriates another man’s property is more heavily punished by law than the man who brutally injures or thrashes his own wife or children.

These words from Rose Scott echo as strongly in 2014 as when she wrote them in 1904. In her paper Legislation Affecting Women and Children for the National Council of Women in NSW, Scott details the myriad ways the laws of the time impacted on women.

Now that women have a vote and a distinct power in regard to the laws of the land, we must hope that they will gradually awaken to the fact that election time, with all its false ideals, is the least important time in the work of legislation, and that the ever watchful organisations who keep knocking at the doors of all parties in Parliament with requests for better legislation, will at last be heard if only for their much speaking!

And speak they did. Although much of Australian history has been recorded as though they didn’t. As though women’s voices were strangely silent, as though they were passive subjects to the mighty blokes who were forging their way across the continent, digging up gold and getting rid of those pesky blacks.

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2014
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