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Paid Maternity Leave — schools to debate equity and family issues of the future

Commission Commission – General

2
August 2002

Paid Maternity Leave
—
schools to debate equity
and family issues of the future

Sex Discrimination
Commissioner Pru Goward today launched an online teaching module on paid
maternity leave and gender equality in the workforce.

Paid Maternity
Leave - Activities on Gender Equality in the Workforce
is designed
for use by teachers of secondary students. The material draws on comprehension
and oral/written composition skills to develop an understanding of gender
and the workforce. It includes a fact sheet, a case study, teaching notes,
structured activities and a student interview with the Commissioner.

While future family
commitments may not be on the mind of most students, career futures certainly
are. The material demonstrates how issues such as paid maternity leave
are relevant to young men and women, particularly at an age when they
are considering career directions.

'It should hardly
need to be said that women are an integral part of the Australian workforce.
While significant progress has been made to remove discrimination in the
workforce, women continue to experience disadvantage because of their
responsibility for raising and caring for children,' said Commissioner
Goward.

'Young people must
engage with this challenge because they will be the ones who benefit from
any change in the next few years.'

An interview with
the Commissioner by Year 12 student, Amy Shoemark, is also included in
the materials. As well as discussing paid maternity leave, Commissioner
Goward comments on important gender equality issues relevant to students,
including sexual harassment, homophobia and particular struggles faced
by young males. The interview is available as audio or text from the site.

This module is the
second in HREOC's Current Issues Teaching Series, part of the new Information
for Teachers
section of the website. The first was on Follow the
Rabbit-Proof Fence
and Bringing them home.

To access the
Paid Maternity Leave teaching material:
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/info_for_teachers/pregnancy/index.html

To access the
new Information for Teachers section:
http://www.humanrights.gov.au/info_for_teachers/index.html

Media contact:
Darren Smith 02 9284 9677

Last
updated 31 July 2002