Amendments to Socialist Alliance's Charter of Women's Rights

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Replace Our Gender Agenda of our women's rights policy with Charter of Women's Rights. The reason for this amendment is that many transgender and gender diverse activists assume that a policy entitled Our Gender Agenda would talk about the discrimination they face and would include policy on their issues.

Other amendments to the policy are in bold. Deletions have a line crossed through the text.

We demand action...

As essential steps towards complete gender equality, the Socialist Alliance demands immediate government action on the following:

For equality and justice in the workplace

Real equal pay for work of equal or comparable value.

Abolish the youth wage as its impact on young women, especially young mothers is damaging for their own well-being and the well-being of their children.

Automatic wage indexation that corresponds to real cost of living increases.

Increase the minimum wage to a level that recognises that many workers, women and men, are solely responsible for supporting family members.

Enterprise bargaining and individual contracts disadvantage women workers, who are more often in less organised sectors, so we call for the enterprise bargaining system to be abolished and all wage increases and improvements in working conditions to be automatically generalised across each industry.

Extend full-time and permanent employee entitlements (sick leave, annual leave, etc) to all part-time and casual workers on a pro-rata basis.

Introduce paid menstrual leave for women in the workplace.

Legislate for and enforce programs quotas of 40% for female representation by 2017 in both the private and public sector to encourage and assist more women to be trained and employed in non-traditional jobs.

12 months 24 months parenting leave fully paid by employer contributions to a publicly managed scheme; the right to return to the same job; and generous paid leave to allow parents to take time off work to care for sick children and attend school activities.

Enforce anti-discrimination and affirmative action legislation to assist Indigenous women, non-English speaking background women and disabled women be economically independent. Lift the cap limit currently found in the Sex Discrimination Act and its State and Territory equivalent. Further, reverse the onus of proof on the defendant in cases of discrimination because it is often difficult to prove that there has been an unlawful discrimination by the perpetrator.

For independence and equality in family life

A living wage — which enables a decent quality of life, not just survival — for all welfare recipients and their dependents, and automatic indexation of all welfare benefits to cover real cost of living increases. The national minimum wage should be set to a standard which enables a decent quality of life, not just survival -welfare payments must be raised to match the national minimum wage for all welfare recipients and their dependents, and automatic indexation of all welfare benefits to cover real cost of living increases.

Abolish child support payments as this can exacerbate already violent situations. Child raising is an obligation of the state and should not depend on the non-custodial parent's income or willingness to help with the cost of raising a child.

Remove the restrictions which force single parents off the Supporting Parents' Pension before their children have finished school.

A massive expansion of funding for community/employee-controlled, good quality, free child-care services in communities and, funded by employers, in large workplaces; these services to include after-hours, vacation and occasional care.

No discrimination based on age, sexual preference, marital status or wealth for access to reproductive technologies. Reproduction is a woman's right to choose, and IVF should be available safely, free of charge and on demand through the public health system. Just like abortion, free IVF on demand should be a woman's right to choose. Women in prison be able to use contraception and have access to pregnancy or abortion care if necessary.

Abolish all taxation measures that penalise families in which women both partners are engaged in waged work.

Reverse the privatisation of all utilities and other essential services, which has disproportionately adversely affected women and children. They should be provided free or, at the very least, at an affordable price.

Expand affordable, good quality, secure public housing so child-raising can take place in a stable environment.

For women's control of their own bodies

Remove abortion from all state Crimes Acts and Health Acts and make abortion available safely, free of charge and on demand through the public health-care system, in rural areas as well as urban areas.

Provide women who want it, with access to free, non-judgemental and supportive counseling services before and after abortions.

Make safe, reliable contraceptives freely available to both women and men; end the prohibition on the import of enable all GPS to prescribe RU486; make the “morning after” pill available free of charge.

Enforce the law outlawing sterilisation without a woman's consent.

No discrimination based on age, sexual preference or marital status for access to reproductive technologies. Women in prison to be able to use contraception, and have access to pregnancy or abortion care if needed.

Restore Medicare bulk-billing and massively increase funding to public hospitals and community health services.

Provide free menstrual/sanitary protection for all women as a public health service products and free medication for women to deal with painful menstruation.

Improve availability of women-centred pregnancy care, including state funding and insurance for community based midwifery and birth centres.

For an end to sexual violence and exploitation

Strengthen and strictly enforce laws against sexual harassment. Abolish compulsory mediation and conciliation procedure in cases of alleged sexual harassment and instances of violence.

Introduce laws which impose compulsory rehabilitation of perpetrators of sexual and physical violence against women.

Introduce legislation that instances of alleged sexual or physical assault on women in the military is reported to police for investigation and is prosecuted in a civilian (not military) court. Furthermore, if the alleged offender is found guilty, they must be sentenced according to the Crimes Act.

Restore and increase funding for women's services to ensure ready access to health centres, rape crisis centres, women's refuges and counselling services for all women and their dependants who need them.

Launch a community education campaign in the media, schools and all other public institutions to promote positive, non-stereotyped, anti-sexist images of women in all areas of social activity.

Repeal all laws against prostitution in order to end the criminalisation and victimisation of sex workers, and publicly fund comprehensive health-care, legal and personal support services, and alternative employment opportunities, for sex workers.

Prosecute Australians who profit from the international sex trade and prostitution, and give full protection and rights to victims of the sex trade in Australia.

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