Book Chapter

‘Gillard’s dilemma’, the sexual contract and maternal citizenship: The case of australian single mothers

P Bueskens

Australian Mothering: Historical and Sociological Perspectives | Palgrave Macmillan | Published : 2019


© The Author(s) 2019. This chapter examines former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s withdrawal of welfare benefits to 150,000 single mothers on the day of her historic ‘misogyny speech,' 9 October 2012. The contrast between the rhetoric of equality and the Fair Incentives to Work Bill was striking because it symbolised the discrepancy between women’s standing as ‘individuals’ in liberal-democratic societies and their standing as mothers. This chapter develops the argument, outlined in the author’s new book, that women are normatively free as ‘individuals’ in liberal-democratic societies, but remain constrained as mothers performing unpaid, invisible care work. Redefining women activ..

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