While we welcome Labor’s plan to support women’s reproductive rights, we are distressed that maternity is excluded from the statement, just as maternity was excluded from Setting the Agenda Labor’s national plan for action on gender equality.
To write a plan to support women’s reproductive rights and not to include maternity is remiss.
To write a paper on Labor’s national plan for action on gender equality and not to include maternity is at best not respectful of mothers and the work they do and at worst negligent.
A woman carrying a child provides an important community benefit at a considerable personal cost. The transition to motherhood appears to be a critical “tipping point” on the road to gender equality and therefore must be a crucial focus for policy-making to address the well-being of women and mothers. We acknowledge that the transition to parenthood affects both mothers and fathers, however the different experiences and starting points of mothers and fathers, needs to be acknowledged.
- Maternity is a significant issue for women.
- Maternity is about reproductive rights.
- Maternity is about gender equality.
Australians must uphold the rights of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after maternity, and to ensure that all women realise their human rights. A human rights based approach is about empowering women to claim their rights and participate in decision making, and covers the interrelated social determinants of health and well-being, including the rights to bodily integrity, autonomy, information, and privacy.