Deliberative democracy or democratic dilemma? The curious case of Australia's statutory parental leave policy

Samone McCurdy, Caroline Knell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Australia's former Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has often noted that two deeply held beliefs regarding work and care pose a critical barrier to the achievement of gender equality in Australia. The first is that ?good? mothers stay at home and care for their children. The second is that the best workers are always available, unfettered by care responsibilities and, by extension, are usually male (CEDA, 2013, p. 26; Keenan, 2011). Most Australians would likely agree that this traditional model of work and family is not only out-dated but potentially discriminatory (AHRC, 2010; Pocock, Skinner, Williams, 2012). There is, however, some evidence to suggest these beliefs remain entrenched in the Australian work and care psyche and represent taken for granted assumptions in the contemporary social policy landscape
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalCommunities, Children and Families Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • enumerative content analysis
  • gender
  • fathers
  • paid parental leave
  • work and family policy

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