• By Anne Summers Women pay a very high price for striving for equality, and religions offer no support. Hilariously, Pope Francis has come out in favour of equal pay for women, saying it was a “pure scandal” that women received less money than men for doing the same work. Not that the Vatican need worry about having to do a … Read More


  • Illiustration by Simon Bosch

    Illustration: Simon Bosch By Anne Summers Until very recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel didn’t “do” gender. “That’s really not Angela’s kind of thing!” IMF chief Christine LaGarde said of the German Chancellor in an interview with the Financial Times last September.  “I have never ever spoken to her about gender. It’s not her.” Nevertheless, just six months later Merkel’s government … Read More


  • Peta Credlin, photo by Alex Ellinghausen

    “I regret that in some quarters we’re still at risk of telling girls not to ‘show off’, to work hard but not rock the boat thereby engendering a lack of confidence while we praise boys for displaying knowledge.” These are the words of Peta Credlin, chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, “vividly” recalling when she was four years … Read More


  • Frankly, I don’t give a damn whether or not Julie Bishop calls herself a feminist. What matters is what she does, as a woman and for women. And it’s a great shame that because the recent cacophony about the “f” word has occupied so much media space, there has been little – I could find none – examination of her … Read More


  • by Nicole Elphick, Sun Herald, 22 August During her career, Anne Summers has built up a most eclectic résumé including stints as editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine, running the Hawke government’s Office of the Status of Women and taking the reins as deputy president of the Powerhouse Museum. Her most recent venture has seen her exploring the terrain of digital publishing … Read More


  • Photo: Andrew Meares I was travelling to London the day Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke at the International Women’s Day Parliamentary breakfast, so I missed his announcement that he has converted to feminism. Having caught up with this news, I want to congratulation him for adopting the principles of equality of the sexes. I would also like to give him some … Read More


  • I was thrilled to join the many brilliant, empowered and passionate women taking part in this week’s London “festival of talks, debates, performance and activism celebrating women and girls”. Catch up on the festival, with plenty of photos and videos, at the WOW Festival website.


  • By Amanda Dunn Can women have it all? It’s the question that seems to have overtaken ”what do women want?” in the media (though the latter still figures), and to feminist writer and journalist Anne Summers, it’s a particularly galling one. ”It epitomises the inequality between women and men, because no one asks men if they can have it all,” … Read More


  • On Friday 31 August I delivered the 2012 Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture at the University of Newcastle. I chose as my topic: Her Rights at Work. The political persecution of Australia’s first female prime minister. Like many other Australians, I have been disturbed by the double standards that are seemingly applied to Julia Gillard by the Opposition, by the media and by many ordinary people.

    But in the course of researching this topic I discovered that Gillard is subjected to far worse than mere double-standards. There is an entire industry of vilification, much of it sexually crude, all of it offensive and designed to undermine her authority and thus her legitimacy in the role as Australia’s first female prime minister. I felt that I could not argue this case without displaying at least some of the material that I was referring to. I recognise that it is very confronting and that not everyone will want to look at it.

    So I have published TWO VERSIONS of the speech. The VANILLA version contains some strong language, where I quote what ordinary people are saying about Julia Gillard but does not include the offensive images. The R-RATED VERSION version contains the images. Be prepared to be shocked. I have also included an APPENDIX which contains even more disgusting material. Look at this at your own risk. My purpose in making this material available is not to titillate, nor to reward the perpetrators but to alert decent Australians to what is being said and done to our Prime Minister. It is now up to us to stop this.

    I strongly argue that we ordinary citizens, regardless of our political views or affiliations should say this is not acceptable. Let’s all say: It Stops with me.


  • Catch up with my article from 17 August in the Australian Financial Review on the legendary Helen Gurley Brown who died last month aged 90. Read article