Government and governance, Arts, culture & society | East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World, Australia, Asia

15 March 2019

This week’s Policy Forum Pod tackles crucial questions regarding women in politics and policy. Why should we care about gender balance? What hurdles do women face in reaching senior positions in politics and policy-making? And what role do men play in all of this?

Last week, the world celebrated International Women’s Day with an outpouring of inspiring stories and recognition of the female heroes in our families, communities, and politics. But it also saw a speech from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison where he said, “we want to see women rise, but we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse.” This week on the pod, our panel – Kim Rubenstein, Helen Machalias, and Caitlin Figueiredo – take a look at women in policy and politics, the power of diversity in building good policies, and what roles gender quotas can play. Listen here:

Our presenters – Sharon Bessell, Sally-Anne Henfry, and Julia Ahrens – also discuss ABC’s new soap-opera The Heights, Theresa May’s never-ending Brexit nightmare, and the excellent The Familiar Strange podcast. On top of that, they take a closer look at several of the interesting comments and suggestions you’ve left us – so keep them coming!

This week on the pod, we’ve welcomed:

Kim Rubenstein is Professor in the Law School in the ANU College of Law and an ANU Public Policy Fellow. She is a former Director of the Centre for International and Public Law and was the inaugural Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute. Kim is Australia’s leading expert on all matters around citizenship in law and practice and the author of Australian Citizenship Law.

Helen Machalias is Director of Communication, Advocacy and fundraising at the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) Canberra. Her career has encompassed roles in media relations and corporate communications, policy, fundraising and partnerships across the transport, arts, regional development and social policy sectors.

Caitlin Figueiredo is the founder of Jasiri and is an Australia Global gender equality activist. She was named 2018 ACT Young Australian of the Year and was recognised on the Forbes under 30 list for her work on parliamentary gender equality through the Girls Takeover Parliament Program.

Our hosts are:

Sharon Bessell is the Director of the Children’s Policy Centre at Crawford School, the ANU lead on the Individual Deprivation Measure Project, and Editor of Policy Forum’s Poverty: In Focus section.

Sally-Anne Henfry is the Executive Director of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation. She was, until recently, the Deputy Chief of Staff and Special Adviser at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in Washington D.C. Prior to that, her career had included working in international development for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the World Bank. Sally-Anne has worked in Australia, the Asia Pacific, and the US.

Julia Ahrens is a Communications and Engagement Coordinator at Crawford School and a presenter for Policy Forum Pod. She is also an Associate Researcher at the European Institute for Asian Studies in Brussels.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

Brexit: What happens now? – Peter Barnes (BBC)

Upcoming US presidential elections

Ethiopian Airlines crash

The Heights (ABC)

The Familiar Strange podcast and blog

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comment on International Women’s Day

World Economic Forum’s 2018 Global Gender Gap report

McKinsey Delivering through Diversity report

More on Joe Hockey’s comment on ‘double-dippers’

Media report on Plan International’s survey

Girls Take Over Parliament

‘A women in politics scorecard’ – John Warhurst

Karen Andrews on Q&A

New norms of work and care: re-thinking what it means to be a responsible adult – Jennifer Nedelsky

Panel discussion: Research, work, life and balancing academic careers – Kim Rubenstein, Jennifer Nedelsky, Joseph Carens

Podcast: Is every billionaire a policy failure?

Mark Zanker’s comment on the Policy Forum Pod Facebook group

The heat is on: an urgent case for climate action – Andrew Leigh

More on Australian coal debate and Barnaby Joyce’s position

To read the transcript of this podcast, click here.

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesSpotifyStitcherSubscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.



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