News and events

Intersections 2016Intersections 2016

Third Annual Postgraduate and ECR Gender and Sexuality Studies conference

Intersections 2016 will be held on 19-20 September in the Bradley Forum, City West Campus, University of South Australia.

The aim of this conference is to bring together postgraduate students from across South Australia to share their research with their peers and to continue building a collegial and collaborative environment for South Australian and Australian students.

The Hawke Research Institute's Research Centre for Gender Studies in the is the primary sponsor of this event.

Visit event website.


ARC grant on gendered violence and citizenship

  RCGS members Suzanne Franzway, Sarah Wendt, Nicole Moulding and Carole Zufferey have been awarded an ARC Discovery grant for 2013–2015 called 'Gendered violence and citizenship: the complex effects of intimate partner violence on mental health, housing and employment'. This project will examine the long-term effects of intimate partner violence (IPV) over women’s life course. Based on a national survey and life histories, the impact of IPV on mental health, housing and employment as interconnected dimensions of citizenship will be analysed. The research will produce evidence on women's active and diverse responses and develop new understandings of gender, violence and citizenship. The project will advance knowledge through a feminist approach which reframes domestic violence as eroding women's citizenship. The outcomes of the project will serve as a platform to develop more effective policies and practice for social policy interventions in Australia.

Project website


Challenging knowledge, sex and power

Challenging knowledge, sex and power: gender, work and engineering

RCGS members Julie Mills, Suzanne Franzway, Judith Gill and Rhonda Sharp have published this exciting new book with Routledge in 2013.

Order online from Routledge

Women in the developed world expect to work in the labour force over the course of their lives. More girls are entering universities and undertaking professional training for careers than ever before. Males and females enter many high status professions in roughly equal numbers. However, engineering stands out as a profession that remains obstinately male dominated. Despite efforts to change, little progress has been made in attracting and retaining women in engineering.

This book analyses the outcomes of a decade-long investigation into this phenomenon, framed by two questions: Why are there so few women in engineering? And why is this so difficult to change? The study includes data from two major surveys, accounts from female engineers in a range of locations and engineering fields, and case studies of three large engineering corporations. The authors extend feminist theories of sexual politics and ignorance to explore gendered engineering identities, the history and politics of women in engineering organisations, and analyse a range of campaigns that have been waged to address sex and power in engineering.


Making feminist politics

Making feminist politics: transnational alliances between women and labor

Suzanne Franzway from the RCGS and Mary Margaret Fonow from Arizona State University are the authors of this new book from the University of Illinois Press, 2011.

Making feminist politics can be ordered online from University of Illinois Press.

In this timely and detailed examination of the intersections of feminism, labour politics and global studies, Suzanne Franzway and Mary Margaret Fonow reveal the ways in which women across the world are transforming labour unions in the contemporary era. Situating specific case studies within broad feminist topics, Franzway and Fonow concentrate on union feminists mobilising at multiple sites, issues of wages and equity, childcare campaigns, work–life balance and queer organising, demonstrating how unions around the world are broadening their focuses from contractual details to empowerment and family and feminist issues. By connecting the diversity of women's experiences around the world both inside and outside the home and highlighting the innovative ways women workers attain their common goals, Making feminist politics lays the groundwork for recognition of the total individual in the future of feminist politics within global union movements.


RCGS member to represent Australia at the UN Commission on the Status of Women

Adjunct member Elaine Butler has been chosen to represent the Australian community at this year's United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women in New York as a result of her work with Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE). This year's session, the commission's 55th meeting, will take place from 22 February to 4 March 2011. In announcing the selection, the Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for the Status of Women, said 'Ms Butler's work as an educator, researcher and advocate will allow her to make an excellent contribution to the commission's theme this year; Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women's equal access to full employment and decent work'.


Routledge feminist economics collection

Prof Rhonda Sharp has an article 'Budgeting for equality: the Australian experience' co-authored with A/Prof Ray Broomhill (University of Adelaide) published in a four-volume collection Feminist economics: critical concepts edited by Drucilla K Barker and Edith Kuiper and published in the Routledge Major Works Series (2009). The article was originally published in Feminist Economics in 2002. It has been published in Volume III: Engendering development and economic well-being in a section on 'Gender and economic well-being'.

This new Routledge title, edited by two leading scholars, is a four-volume collection of canonical and cutting-edge work in feminist economics, an innovative and dynamic area of scholarship that has broadened the scope of economic inquiry and has allowed a richer and more complex understanding of the ways in which economies function. It is a collection of historical and contemporary work. The first two volumes of the collection consist of work done before the founding of the International Association for Feminist Economics in 1991 and are organised historically. The final two volumes consist of cutting-edge contemporary work in feminist economics and are organised thematically.


Visiting scholar Professor Diane Elson

Diane ElsonDiane Elson is currently a professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Essex. For almost 40 years she has carried out research on the feminist economics of gender and development. Her work has been centred on global social change and the realisation of human rights with a particular focus on gender inequality in economic frameworks. She has been included as one of the 50 key thinkers in a book edited by David Simon, Fifty key thinkers on development, Routledge, 2005.

Diane was a member of the UN Millennium Project Taskforce and the Advisory Committee for UNRISD Policy Report on Gender and Development; and vice president of the International Association for Feminist Economics. From 1998 to 2000 she served as Special Advisor to the Executive Director of UNIFEM and was the lead author on the report Progress on the world's women 2000. Her recent research interests include gender and fiscal policy, and gender and international trade. Recent publications include: 'The social content of macroeconomic policies' (with N Çagatay), World Development, July 2000; Gender budgets make cents (with D Budlender, G Hewitt and T Mukhopadhyay), Commonwealth Secretariat, London, 2002; 'Engendering government budgets in the context of globalization(s)', International Feminist Journal of Politics, 6(4), 2004; Budgeting for women's rights: monitoring government budgets for compliance with CEDAW, UNIFEM, New York, 2006;'The changing economic and political participation of women and the new challenges of globalisation' in I Lenz, C Ullrich and B Fersch (eds), Gender orders unbound, Barbara Buderich Publishers, Opladen and Farmington Hills, 2007; 'Macroeconomic policy, employment, unemployment and gender equality' in JA Ocampo and KS Jomo (eds), Towards full and decent employment, Zed Books and Orient Longman, 2007; 'Gender issues in development' in AK Dutt and J Ros (eds), International handbook of development economics, Edward Elgar, 2008.

Diane was a visiting international scholar of the Research Centre for Gender Studies and the Hawke Research Institute in 2009. She collaborated with Professor Rhonda Sharp and her research team on a book on gender-responsive budgeting in the Asia-Pacific region.


Members' research activities in 2009

Professor Rhonda Sharp gave an invited presentation 'International developments in gender-responsive budgeting and options for Indonesia' to the Gender-Responsive Planning and Budgeting Inter-departmental Steering Committee of the Indonesian Government on 17 February in Jakarta, Indonesia. Prof Sharp gave another invited presentation 'Improving the budget from a gender perspective' to senior government officials in the Indonesian Ministry of Women's Empowerment, Jakarta, Indonesia on 13 March. She also conducted a workshop 'A gender-responsive budget approach to implementing the proposed domestic violence law in Timor Leste' for the international advisors at the Justice Facility in Dili, Timor Leste on 23 March. Professor Sharp was also a reviewer of technical papers for the 2009 UNDP Asia-Pacific Human Development Report Gender and the United Nations DAW 2009 report on the role of women in development, and chairperson of the panel 'In conversation with Maude Barlow', a public seminar of the community water action groups at the Grainger Studio, Adelaide on 4 April.

Dr Laura Dales has been awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Dr Dales will be based at Osaka University in the Graduate School of Human Sciences from 9 August 2009 to 15 December 2010. She will be working with Dr Beverley Yamamoto on a project 'Women's groups and women's centres: feminist engagement and change in contemporary Japan'. This project involves ethnographic fieldwork which aims to explore the ways that women's groups feature in the changing social landscape of Japan, and the ways that groups might connect women, within groups and in the broader community. It will also investigate the relationship between women's centres and feminist discourse and examine how women's groups effect (or suppress) change more broadly. Before leaving for Japan, Dr Dales will participate in a research workshop 'Transmission of academic values in Asian studies: the Australia-Netherlands research collaboration' at the Australian National University from 25 to 26 June.

Dr Valerie Adams conducted a pilot research project that used qualitative methods to investigate nurses' care work of people with dementia from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds in residential aged care facilities. This project was funded by a postdoctoral grant from the SA & NT Dementia Training Study Centre and supervised by Prof Rhonda Sharp and A/Prof Suzanne Franzway. A report for the funding body identified both general and culturally specific strategies used by nurses when caring for dementia residents, problems encountered in caring for CALD residents, resources currently in place that were helpful for CALD aged care nursing and some that were lacking. Several areas that require more research were also identified.

Project report: Valerie Adams, Residential aged care nurses caring for dementia residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.


Jean Duruz at the Asia Research Institute

Coconut tartsDr Jean Duruz is visiting the Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore as a Research Affiliate from 3 November to 21 December 2008 to continue her research on food as a medium of cultural exchange and meaning production in global cities. She will focus on the Katong district as one of Singapore's postcolonial urban 'villages'. While in Singapore, Dr Duruz's research will focus on mapping a diverse range of food exchanges among, and between, Singaporean/non-Singaporean people associated with specific ethnic communities/identities (eg Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan, British, Eurasian) and between differently positioned individuals/groups (cooks, proprietors, vendors, customers, 'locals', 'expats', tourists, etc) in the commercial spaces of Joo Chiat/the neighbourhood of Katong. She will also document specific examples of creative/entrepreneurial place making of small 'ethnic' businesses, especially practices enabling re-settlement, community maintenance and integration and contribute to the debate of the significance of Gilroy's (2004) 'cosmopolitan conviviality' for the postcolonial city, together with problems/possibilities of 'ethnic' tourism and entrepreneurship in re-writing its 'villages'.


RCGS members on the inaugural SA Women's Honour Roll

Julie MillsEmeritus Professor Alison Mackinnon and Associate Professor Julie Mills have both been acknowledged on the inaugural SA Women's Honour Roll. Alison Mackinnon is Emeritus Professor of History and Gender Studies and Foundation Director of the Hawke Research Institute for Sustainable Societies until 2005. Julie Mills is Associate Professor in Civil Engineering, co-founder of the South Australian Women in Engineering Group, and a member of the South Australian Women's Advisory Council. She was awarded the Carrick Citation for outstanding contributions to student equity and diversity in 2006.

Alison MackinnonProf Mackinnon said the importance of recognition like the honour roll provides a forum for the work of women to be acknowledged and valued. 'All of the women from UniSA are an important part of the community in educating the next generation of professionals and carers and women do play a large part in voluntary and caring work often as an extension of, or in addition to their professions', she said. 'In many ways much of women's work is still unsung. Many women would consider that now they are working harder that ever so it was very warming to see the wide spectrum of women's lives being valued and honoured.'

Prof Mackinnon said the importance of recognition like the honour roll provides a forum for the work of women to be acknowledged and valued.


New research grants for Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE)

Elaine Butler is a foundation member and national co-ordinator of Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE). On 15 June the Office for Women announced that WAVE had won two research grants for capacity building from its Women and Leadership Funds.

WAVE will receive funding to undertake Women on track: addressing skills shortages in transport and construction industries to be undertaken in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia and Minmaku Palyantja Palya: Waltja Women Leaders' Project to be undertaken in Central Australia and the Northern Territory.


Members' research activities in 2008

Prof Rhonda Sharp presented a paper at the Gender, Youth and Economic Empowerment in the Pacific conference of the Australian National University College of Asia and the Pacific and AusAid in Canberra in April. She also conducted a workshop with Dr Cara Ellickson, Director of the Gender Consortium, Flinders University on gender analysis and gender-responsive budgeting for the Federal Government's Office for Women in Canberra. At the post UN Commission for the Status of Women sessions of Security for Women Secretariat of the Federal Government Prof Sharp briefed the meeting on the implications of the United Nation's recommendations on gender budgeting for Australia.

Assoc Prof Jean Duruz presented an invited paper entitled 'Growing up transnational: travelling through Singapore's Hawker Centres' at the Inhabiting Diversity and the Asia Pacific Workshop hosted by the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion at Macquarie University in April 2008. A/Prof Duruz also presented a paper entitled 'Growing up transnational' at the 2008 ACS Crossroads in Cultural Studies Conference at the University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica in July, and was an invited member on a panel on 'Transmutations: Making Food and Moving Bodies'.

Assoc Prof Suzanne Franzway conducted two public seminars in the United Kingdom in April: 'Women, domestic violence and work: an Australian perspective' at the University of Warwick, and '"My life was on track until I met him": Employment and domestic violence' at Ruskin College, Oxford. A/Prof Franzway also conducted an intensive Masterclass in Women's Studies at Ruskin College, Oxford.

Dr Sarah Wendt (with Dr Brenton Prosser and Dr Michelle Tuckey) will research 'The personal domain: exploring what sustains professionals through the narratives of teachers, social workers and emergency service workers' funded by EASS Divisional Research Performance Fund. Dr Wendt has recently had two journal articles published: 'Christianity and domestic violence: feminist poststructural perspectives', in AFFIFIA: Journal of Women and Social Work, 23(2), 144–155 and with S. Jamieson 'Exploring men's perpetrator programs in small rural communities', in Rural Society, 18(1), 39–50. Dr Wendt, with J. Boylan, has another article in press: 'Feminist social work research engaging with poststructural ideas' in International Social Work. Dr Wendt also organised a one-day conference United Against Domestic Violence hosted by Soroptimist International of South Australia in conjunction with the School of Social Work and Social Policy on Friday 4 July 2008.

Dr Laura Dales is currently working on a monograph manuscript Feminist movements in contemporary Japan (under contract with Routledge). She presented a paper entitled 'Connecting women: NGOs and women's activism in contemporary Japan' at the Activating Human Rights and Peace Conference in Byron Bay, 1–4 July, and a paper entitled 'Productive differences and feminist research' at the Australian Women's and Gender Studies Conference, Perth, 9–11 July. Dr Dales, with David Chapman and Vera Mackie has an article '"Minority women will change the world!": perspectives on multiple discrimination in Japan' in Women's Studies International Forum, September 2008.


National Press Club discussion on equal pay

Transcript of National Press Club panel discussion on equal pay, 7 May 2008 (PDF 443 kb). Panel members: Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Status of Women; Heather Ridout, Australian Industry Group; Ilona Charles, National Australia Bank; Prof Mark Wooden, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economics and Social Research and University of Melbourne.


Visiting scholar Associate Professor Xu Jie

Xu JieAssoc Prof Xu Jie (Cindy), a visiting scholar with the Research Centre for Gender Studies from the Northeast Forestry University (NEFU) in China, researched women and equity following market reform in China during her visit. The Chinese economy moved from mainly rural production under a feudal state to an industrialising planned economy under a socialist state. Since China's Reform and Open Policy, which commenced in 1978, there has been an ongoing economic and cultural transition to a market economy. As a market economy focuses more attention on money and material wealth than the previous centrally planned economy, Cindy was looking at the changes that have taken place to women's status since the market reforms. Cindy presented a paper at the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) Conference in Torino, Italy in June 2008. She has also written an article in English stemming from her PhD research (completed in Mandarin Chinese) on the ecological crisis in China, which has been submitted to an Australian journal.


New member

RCGS is pleased to welcome Dr Nicole Moulding as a member of the centre. Dr Moulding is a lecturer at the School of Social Work and Social Policy. She is a qualified social worker with a background in women's health and community health. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of gender and mental health, social exclusion and mental health and interpretive research methodology, particularly post-structural approaches. She has a particular interest in the social construction of subjectivity and the implications for mental health and wellbeing.


ARC success

Prof Rhonda Sharp (with Assoc Prof R Broomhill and Prof J Brodie), 'Restructuring the male breadwinner model: new challenges for a rapidly changing Australia' (2008–2010)

This project investigates changes to the Australian male breadwinner gender order in the key spheres of labour markets, households and public policies. Gender arrangements in these spheres play a key role in economic development, reflecting the intertwining of economic and social processes in a country's well-being. Increased understanding of the implications of current changes affecting the gender order and social reproduction will enhance economic well-being for both individuals and society in Australia. The impact of these changes are vital policy issues. This international collaboration will develop a conceptual framework for identifying policy reform to strengthen Australia's social and economic sustainability.


Research activities in 2007

Dr Margaret Peters was an invited participant at the launch of the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity (CRED), School of Business and Management, at Queen Mary University in London on 18 June 2007. Links between the Research Centre for Gender Studies and the Centre for Research in Equality and Diversity were formalised at this time. Margaret also presented papers at the GWO Conference held at Keele University, UK in June, at the European Group of Organisation Studies (EGOS) Conference in Vienna, Austria in July, and at the World Communication Association (WCA) Conference, at QUT, Brisbane in July 2007. Margaret also gave invited workshops and lectures in the Department of Sociology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in July 2007. Margaret also has a contract with co-author Assoc Prof Geraldine Bloustien with Palgrave McMillan for a book entitled Playing for Life Research.

Ms Elaine Butler, in partnership with Kimberly Turner-Zeller, produced three reports for Security4Women.

Dr Laura Dales gave a presentation in Japan on 24 September 2007 at the Osaka Prefectural Women's Centre (Dawn Centre) on 'Australian women's work–life balance and lifestyle'. The presentation targeted the general public, and the 71 participants ranged in age from 10 to 70 years. Laura has a journal article published in Intersections, Issue 15 'Connection and collaboration: women's centres and NGO women's groups in Japan' and her amended PhD thesis, titled Feminist movements in contemporary Japan, will be published by Routledge in their Women in Asia series in 2009.

Assoc Prof Suzanne Franzway presented a keynote address titled 'What does it matter? The problem of gender equity in engineering' to the Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies Second Conference hosted by Arizona State University, 8–10 February 2007. Suzanne has also become a founding member of the UNESCO Women's Studies and Gender Research Network, which was launched from the Human Rights and Gender Equality Section, Social and Human Sciences Sector at a meeting held at Miriam College, Manilla, 25–26 July 2007. The network's objectives are to advance WS/GR by research and advocacy for women's rights, encourage capacity building for students, researchers and WS programs and research centres, and encourage collaborations between UNESCO and inter-university partnerships. In 2008–2009, the network will support three projects, 'Women and the judiciary' (which is focused on the Middle East), 'Radical democratisation of daily life', and 'Social rights and women's trade union leadership'. Suzanne has been working on the development of the third project over the last 18 months together with Prof Valentine Moghadam, Purdue University and Prof Mary Margaret Fonow, Arizona State University. The network will be based at Miriam College for two years and limited to 26 participants in order to produce a clear organisational and policy framework. Suzanne also has a contract with Illinois University Press for a book she is co-authoring with Prof Mary Margaret Fonow called Transnational alliance between women's movement and unions, a book chapter in a Canadian book for the Global Union Research Network of the International Labour Organisation, and a forthcoming article in the journal Signs on women's trade union activism. She is also currently working on a project on the impact of domestic violence on women's work with Dr Donna Chung.

Dr Tangi Steen presented a paper 'Questioning technology: the way forward for a more technologically informed Tongan society' at the 12th Tonga Research Conference held from 11 to 14 July 2007 in Nuku'alofa, Tonga. She presented 'Creating an Indigenous space within higher education in South Australia: what does it mean in terms of curriculum design and teaching practice?' at the 13th conference of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies, 3–7 September 2007, Sarajevo. Her chapter 'Creating a culturally safe space for Tongans in Adelaide: The Gap Project' was published in Tonga and Tongan's heritage and identity by BPA Group, Melbourne, edited by E Wood-Ellem. Tangi was also awarded a UniSA Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and a Quality Teaching Award for 2007.

Prof Rhonda Sharp gave an invited presentation at the United Nations 51st Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which was held in New York from 26 February to 8 March 2007, on the theme of financing for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Rhonda was also invited by the United Nations Development Programme and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community to present a paper on gender and economic policies at the 10th Triennial Conference of Pacific Women and the 3rd Pacific Ministers Meeting on Women held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 27 May to 1 June 2007. Rhonda also presented invited workshops on gender analysis to senior government officials of the APEC countries at the Cairns APEC SOM Conference, 25-29 June. Her co-authored manual, with Susanne Schech, Flinders University, Gender analysis: concepts, tools and practice has been published by Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). She was a visiting professor at Curtin University's WiSER centre in July where she collaborated on a symposium on women's retirement incomes, which will be published in the Australian Journal of Labour Economics. Rhonda was invited as an international expert to the United Nations Expert Roundtable on 'Financing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment', held in Oslo, 3–8 September 2007. The findings of the roundtable will be reported at the 52nd UN session on the Status of Women in New York in March 2008. Rhonda, in conjunction with Prof J Brodie and Assoc Prof Ray Broomhill, University of Adelaide, was successful in securing an ARC Discovery Grant for the research project 'Restructuring the male breadwinner model: new challenges for a rapidly changing Australia', which will commence in 2008.

Dr Sarah Wendt organised the visit of Dr Jenny Hornosty, University of New Brunswick, Canada, who specialises in domestic violence against women in rural areas. A research collaboration between Sarah and Dr Hornosty has been planned.

Dr Lana Zannettino had several publications in 2007: 'Hyphened identities: representations of race, gender, and diaspora in contemporary Australian teenage literature' in International Journal of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations; 'Personal and emotional meaning in the development of subjective gender: girls, cultural texts, and psychoanalytic theory' in International Journal of the Humanities; and 'Belonging, connectedness, and self-worth: building socially sustainable communities through a school-based student support program' in Journal of Student Wellbeing. Lana also presented the following conference papers: 'Hyphened identities: representations of race, gender, and diaspora in contemporary Australian teenage literature' at the Seventh International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations, Amsterdam; 'Personal and emotional meaning in the development of subjective gender: girls, cultural texts, and psychoanalytic theory' at the Fifth International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities, Paris; and 'Points of convergence: synthesising discourse analysis and object-relational psychoanalytic theory in feminist research focusing on identity' at the New Zealand Discourse Conference: The Challenge of Discourse Analysis, 6–8 December, Auckland.

Ms Bev Majda, PhD student, presented a paper titled 'Critical discourse analysis: a tool for the sociopolitical analysis of health policy reform' at the New Zealand Discourse Conference: The Challenge of Discourse Analysis, Auckland, December 2007.

Gender Indicators Online

Gender Indicators Online is a South Australian resource for policy makers and researchers. The site arose out of a recommendation of a report commissioned by the Premier's Council for Women, Gender data online: the development of a gender-disaggregated data management resource authored by HRISS researcher Rhonda Sharp and Australian Institute for Social Research (AISR) researchers John Spoehr, Ray Broomhill, Sonia Martin and Carla Medlin. HRISS Professors Eleanor Ramsay and Alison Mackinnon were members of the report's reference group.

Gender Indicators Online is linked to South Australian Policy Online (SAPO), a joint initiative of AISR, HRISS and Flinders University. The conceptual framework and key features of Gender Indicators Online was published in the September 2006 issue of Development Bulletin in an article authored by Sharp, Broomhill and Spoehr.

Areas of study and research

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