Legal Studies - Groups Suffering Disadvantages [Women]

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PART B – WRITTEN REPORT
Law in Practice topic
Groups suffering disadvantages in society: Women

Introduction
Throughout history, women have always been known to hold less power than men in society. They have always had the role of staying at home and raising children while their husbands worked to provide for the family. HohHowever, during the 1960s and 1970s, women started questioning their rights and status in society. Issues such as sex discrimination, workplace discrimination and domestic violence were challenged, therefore resulting in gradual law reforms and the emergence of many organisations and agencies. There are both legal and non-legal responses to the issue of women being disadvantaged in society.

Disadvantages and challenges for women

Women in Australian society face many disadvantages and challegenges, such as gender inequality, sex discrimination, domestic violence and sexual assault. Gender inequality is distinctly shown in the workplace and politics. In 2007, Australian Women earned on average 18.4% less than men and held only 7% of the most senior and highly paid positions in the workplace. Women also only made up 26.5% of the members of the Commonwealth Parliament in 2003. Sex discrimination occurs in

Legal Response: Domestic Legislation
The main government legislations protecting women’s rights include; Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), Women’s Legal Status Act 1918 (NSW), Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Act 1999 (Cth) and the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth).¹

Sex discrimination means to be treated differently or unfairly on the basis of sex, marital status or because of pregnancy. The Sex Discrimination Act aims to eliminate this in areas such as employment, education, goods and services, housing, superannuation and insurance.

Legal Response: International Law

Legal Response: Government Agencies and Organisations

Non-legal Reponse: Trade Unions
Non-legal responses to...
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