Who is she?
After studying at university as a single mother, Eva was one of a group of women who formed the Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) in 1972, which put ‘women’s issues’ on the national agenda. One of their initiatives was to interview male political candidates about their views on issues such as equal pay, sex discrimination, abortion and child care – needless to say they were shocked at the candidates’ ignorance of these issues and reported it widely in the media. Needless to say, political parties were more careful about formulating women’s policy afterwards.
Eva helped to found the Women’s Economic Think Tank and was part of the feminist magazine Refractory Girl during the 1980s, becoming a prominent media spokesperson on feminist issues. She also established the first Commonwealth-funded after-school childcare centre, in New South Wales.
Why should we thank her?
Eva has been a relentless advocate for women’s rights in Australia for many decades and her social commentary has kept feminist issues in the national media spotlight. The WEL has played a significant role in policy changes including equal pay, sex discrimination and rape law reform in Australia.
“A balance is necessary in life. To achieve this we must move away from broad definitions of workplaces as functional and households as emotional. Similarly, home, the haven in a heartless world, as defined by men, cannot be used by them as an antidote to the workplace’s discomforts and demands, if this means having the wife as a servicer.”