News Features

Despair on Nauru

The Nauru refugee who set himself alight has died in a Brisbane hospital

A photo believed to be of the victim, Omid.

Nicole Hasham 3:47 PM   An Iranian refugee at Nauru who set himself on fire over despair at his life on the island has died.


Attorney-General calls out bigotry after Muslim woman appointed to court

Urfa Masood in 2006.

Benjamin Preiss 3:33 PM   The appointment of the first Muslim woman to a Victorian court has prompted bigoted tirades criticising the government's decision.

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The v-word

This teacher says she was fired for saying the word 'vagina' to her middle school art class

Allison Wint said "vagina" while talking to eighth-graders about Georgia O'Keefe's flower paintings.

Jenny Noyes 12:30 PM   She was talking to eighth-graders about Georgia O'Keefe's flower paintings, famous for their resemblance to female genitalia, when she 'violated' the school policy.

Trump, Clinton sparring on 'woman card' previews election theme

Mary Pat Christie, wife of governor Chris Christie, reacts to Donald Trump's 'woman card' claim.

Margaret Talev   "If fighting for women's health care and paid family leave and equal pay is playing the woman card, then deal me in," said Clinton on Tuesday.

Australia should 'respect PNG's decision' on detention

Australian Human Rights Commission President Professor Gillian Triggs during an estimates hearing at Parliament House in ...

Alexandra Back   The president of the Australian Human Rights Commission said the federal government should respect Papua New Guinea's decision on detention, and she hoped the people held on Manus Island would be brought to Australia.

Manus Island

Detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island is 'illegal'

Asylum seekers at the Manus Island detention centre.

Nicole Hasham, Michael Gordon   PNG's top court has ordered an end to one of Australia's most controversial immigration policies.

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Victoria gets its first female Muslim magistrate

Urfa Masood in 2006.

Beau Donelly   Urfa Masood, appointed by the Attorney-General on Tuesday, will be the first Muslim woman to sit on the bench of any Victorian court.

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Tamir Rice

Tamir Rice's family to receive $8 million from Cleveland over police killing

Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy who was fatally shot by Cleveland police officers in November, 2014.

Mitch Smith   The family of the 12-year-old boy is set to receive the latest in a series of large payouts by cities to the families of black people killed by the police

Leading gay rights activist and editor hacked to death in Bangladesh

Xulhaz Mannan, pictured left, was murdered in Bangladesh on Monday.

Ruma Paul   Suspected Islamist militants have hacked to death a leading gay rights activist and a friend in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital.

LGBTI issues

Non-binary Pakistani-Muslim student comes out to Obama on live TV

Student Maria Munir who came out to Obama.

Greg Jaffe   "We literally have no rights... I really wish yourself and David Cameron would take us seriously as transgender people."

'I promised Masa's mother I'd do everything I could'

Masa Vukotic was murdered by Sean Price while he was on bail and on a 10-year serious sex offender supervision order.

Farrah Tomazin   Serious sex offenders will get early intervention treatment and a new "public protection" watchdog will be set up to monitor people who pose a high risk, under a sweeping shake-up of Victoria's justice system.

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Bathroom laws

Poll finds women and young more open on trans issues, confirming what we all knew

A new law in North Carolina requires people to use the public restroom matching the gender on their birth certificate.

Surprise! Men and older people are the least likely to accept trans people.

Sex and shame

Why did a priest equate the 'sin' of adultery with paedophilia?

Father Bill  Edebohls, formerly an Anglican, was one of Melbourne's first married priests. Pictured in 2005 with his ...

Ruby Hamad   Ruby Hamad examines the link between child sex abuse and the demonisation of women's sexuality.

'He just did it 'cause he likes you'

Screen grab from government's new domestic violence ad campaign.

Judith Ireland   The Coalition government has launched a confronting new ad campaign, designed to get parents, teachers and coaches to clamp down on disrespectful and aggressive behaviour by boys and young men.

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Kate Jenkins

Sex discrimination commissioner eyeballs sport

Fighting for equality: Kate Jenkins says women are still significantly under-represented in management and at board level.

Samantha Lane   New federal sex discrimination commissioner and AFL club director Kate Jenkins has challenged sport to better combat Australia's pervasive problem of violence against women.

Rainbow noose

Rainbow-coloured nooses removed from university over 'hate symbolism' concerns

The rainbow noose project.

Lindsey Bever   The student responsible said it was supposed to represent "the cycle of death and rebirth that is represented by the arrival of spring".

Live streaming

Teenager is accused of live-streaming a friend's rape on Periscope

Raymond Gates and Marina Lonina.

Mike McPhate   When a teenager witnessed her friend being raped, according to officials, she not only failed to help the victim, she live streamed it.

Californian student says airline removed him from plane for speaking Arabic

Berkely student Khairuldeen Makhzoomi.

John Bacon   He talking on the phone in Arabic about having just seen United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speak.

Governor-General blanks Labor's Plibersek

Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove was accused of snubbing deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek.

Fergus Hunter   Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove has apologised to Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek after being accused of snubbing her in an awkward handshake moment.

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Legal aid

Domestic violence a factor in majority of legal aid family law cases

Researchers say there are six key elements to make one's apology more sincere.

New figures show domestic violence is a factor in almost 80 per cent of all family law cases that attract legal aid.

Custody battle

Family Court gave violent man sole custody of son

Family Court.

Rachel Olding   A father who bashed the mother has been granted full access to a child because the mother was deemed to be alienating the child 

Satanic sergeant suspended as police harassment scandal widens

"It's now clear that the planning process has been a sham": Greens MP Jenny Leong.

Eamonn Duff   Police officers were posting homophobic and sexually degrading posts on social media before a NSW Police Integrity Commission investigation homed in on the racial and sexist harassment of an MP.

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'Gay rights like Nazi Germany': Scott Morrison to share stage with extremists

Treasurer Scott Morrison will speak at the Australian Christian Lobby's annual conference, sharing a stage with anti-gay ...

Jill Stark   Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison will share a stage at the Australian Christian Lobby's annual conference with a radio host who compares the advancement of gay rights to Nazi Germany.

Top unis struggling to tackle rape culture

Law student Laura Blandthorn led a successful campaign to get a Facebook page called "Hotties of Melbourne University" ...

Clare Kermond   Tertiary campuses are battling a spate of aggressive, online harassment of female students, including threats of death and rape.

Getting vocal

My quest to make Australian media better

Sheree Joseph, editor of

Sheree Joseph   As editor of 'The Vocal', Sheree Joseph has learnt that it's possible to change the established, extremely white narrative, by creating a new, more inclusive one.

Sex and violence have become the norm for boys who kill women in video games

A new study has found that boys who play violent video games have less empathy for women who have been hurt.

Danielle Paquette   In the Grand Theft Auto series, one of the world's top-selling video game franchises, players can have sex with women and then kill them. What does it say about the boys who play it?

Petition filed in Kenya's High Court to decriminalise gay sex

Gays and lesbians in Kenya were last year forced to wear masks to conceal their identities while staging a protest ...

Katy Migiro   A gay rights campaigner filed a case in Kenya's High Court calling for the decriminalisation of gay sex, which is punishable by 14 years in jail.

Fears for refugee's safety after PNG couple jailed for abortion

The Federal Court is considering the case of a young woman, known only as S99, who was in the midst of a violent ...

Bianca Hall   A PNG couple were jailed for five years for causing the death of their unborn child, in a case that raises serious questions about Australia's decision to send a Nauru rape victim there for an abortion.

Church told gay CEOs to stop supporting marriage equality

Alan Joyce (second from left) and Michael Ebeid (right) at the Australian Marriage Equality breakfast last year.

Michael Koziol   The Catholic church lobbied two of Australia's most prominent gay chief executives to stop their companies' support for marriage equality.

The bereaved black mothers rallying behind the Clinton campaign

Joined by victims of gun violence, Hillary Clinton speaks at the Central Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, in ...

Amy Chozick   The Sweet Maple Cafe in Chicago, famous for its grilled cheese sandwiches and sweet milk biscuits, typically closes each day after the lunch rush. But one evening, the restaurant opened for an unusual private dinner: the guests were bereaved black mothers.


Landmark study finds out what makes people creepy

Bird watchers were considered creepy because they use binoculars.

Karin Brulliard   Characteristics widely perceived as creepy include greasy hair, being extremely thin and watching people before interacting with them.

Man targeted in vicious attack because he wore a dress, police suspect

Isaac Keatinge - man bashed in Newtown.

Kate Aubusson   Police suspect a 25-year-old man brutally bashed in Newtown was targeted because he was wearing a dress.

Running for the bus, chased by police

Portrait of Indigenous Rights Campaigner Roxanne Moore for a story on new research sthat shows that the rate of ...

Julie Power   Beau Foster, 20, was leaving work with two friends when he saw his bus coming, and he did something we've nearly all done: he ran to catch it.

Uncle Jack Charles has been refused a taxi in Melbourne - again

Well-known actor Jack Charles 
said there is systemic racism in the taxi industry which must be addressed.

Patrick Hatch   Aboriginal elder and well-known actor Jack Charles has again been refused a cab in Melbourne because of what he calls systemic discrimination against indigenous Australians by taxi drivers.

Pink parking

Perth 'female-friendly' car parks come complete with pink signage

Acting chief executive Martin Mileham said trial will determine if there's a demand for this type of service.

Emma Young   A trial of 'female-friendly' bays with upgraded lighting and security camera coverage, marked with pink paint and signs, will not make the place safer, according to a user.

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Obama honours feminist activists, says wage gap will close

US President Barack Obama.

Juliet Eilperin   "I'm not here just to say we should close the wage gap. I'm here to say we will close the wage gap."

Thai politics

Thai PM says women are like candy, unwanted when unwrapped

Prayuth Chan-Ocha, Thailand's Prime Minister.

"During Songkran, I ask that women wear proper clothes, Thai style, so they would look good and civilised."

Calls to remove 'creepy' Facebook page which ranks hot university students

Law student Laura Blandthorn's petition has caused the  "Hotties of Melbourne University" Facebook page to be taken down.

Henrietta Cook, education reporter   "She's a bitch and has bad breath". "This girl is a 0/10 I would not bang her even if they paid me."

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China's first transgender employment discrimination case heads to court

In much of China, being gay or transgender is still considered taboo.

Jonathan Kaiman   China's first-ever transgender employment discrimination case came before an arbitration panel Monday amid a grassroots push by activists to challenge widespread prejudice through the country's courts.

Luke Lazarus' nightclub rape conviction quashed, retrial ordered

Luke Lazarus, son of prominent nightclub owner Andrew Lazarus.

Louise Hall   The rape conviction of Sydney man Luke Lazarus has been quashed and a retrial ordered after the state's highest court upheld his claim that the judge in his trial misdirected the jury.

ABC Q&A: Germaine Greer slams claim 'extreme jealousy' causes domestic violence

Germaine Greer told Q&A that misogyny was the root cause of domestic violence against women.

Kate Aubusson   Germaine Greer quashed the claim that "extreme jealousy" was the overriding cause of domestic violence, telling ABC's Q&A misogyny was the root cause of violence perpetrated against women.

'This is happening in Australia': Sydney victim of slavery speaks out

Susan who was enslaved upon arrival at her new 'job' in Sydney. She eventually escaped and went into Salvation Army care.

Daisy Dumas   There was one job that Susan* was exempt from in her long days of cleaning, washing and child care, and that was taking the bins out for rubbish collections.

Boston paper prints fake anti-Trump front page

Divisive: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks in Milwaukee.

Trevor Hughes   The Boston Globe printed a mock front page Sunday, ripping what the paper's editorial board called Donald Trump's "flippant and reckless" White House run and contending his vision for the country is "profoundly un-American."

Police trolled Greens MP with racist and sexist posts

Funeral service at St Mary???s Cathedral for NSW Police employee Curtis Cheng, who was murdered outside NSW Police ...

Eamonn Duff   Serving officers in the NSW Police Force have been exposed trolling and harassing a member of parliament with a slew of racist and sexist posts on social media.

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'It's time to step up': push for more cultural diversity in ALP

ALP Senate candidate Jennifer Yang with her children Lauren and Isaac and husband Robert Turney.

Farrah Tomazin   Jennifer Yang has often been struck by the lack of federal Labor MPs from culturally diverse backgrounds.

East West Link homes sought for victims

Minister for Housing Martin Foley - new Family Violence Housing Assistance Implementation Taskforce being created.

Farrah Tomazin   Dozens of properties acquired to make way for the East West Link could end up being used to help women and children fleeing violent homes.

Miracle birth

Doctors stunned by rare twins born more than five weeks apart

Proud parents Ian and Kristen Miller

Peter Holley   The world record - twins born 87 days apart - was set in Ireland in 2012.

Periods for Pence

Women are calling Indiana's governor to tell him about their periods

Indiana Governor Mike Pence

Tusha Mittal   In response to a new abortion law ruling fetal tissue must be interred, women are reporting the details of their menstrual cycles to befuddled staff.

Expectant mums given reprieve on PPL cuts

Paid parental leave is likely to once again be an election background.

Judith Ireland   Social Services Minister Christian Porter has conceded that the government will not be able to pass cuts to paid parental leave before the federal election, granting a reprieve to mums expecting babies after July 1.

Sexual exploitation

Eleven Congo women and girls say they are pregnant by peacekeepers, the UN reports

UN spokesperson Farhan Haq.

The United Nations reported 99 allegations of sexual exploitation or sexual abuse involving UN staff members last year.

Helen Clark

Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark puts her hand up for UN Secretary-General Job

Helen Clark has thrown her hat in the ring.

Emma O'Brien and Kambiz Foroohar   Her move comes amid a global campaign to have a woman elected to the job for the first time.

Victim erasure

Why do we often hear more about the perpetrator than the victim?

Sandra Peniamina died after receiving multiple stab wounds.

Clementine Ford   In the reporting of domestic violence, the perpetrator is often humanised while the victim is ignored, writes Clementine Ford.

Air France allows crew to avoid Iran route after headscarf row

The airline is resuming flights to Iran on April 17.

Cyril Altmeyer and Victoria Bryan   The debate on the wearing of headscarves and other religious symbols in public is particularly heated in France, which attaches importance to the separation of state and religious institutions.

Pro-choice rally in Poland after Catholic bishops call for abortion ban

Thousands joined a rally in Warsaw on Sunday to protest against a possible tightening of the country's strict abortion laws.

Wiktor Szary   Thousands of people attended a pro-choice rally outside parliament in Warsaw after the powerful leader of Poland's ruling party backed a call by Polish Catholic bishops for an abortion ban.

UQ Union Bake sale to charge based on gender

Baked goods priced according to gender have created heated discussion online.

Amy Mitchell-Whittington   A bake sale that will charge customers based on their sex for 'Feminist Week' at University of Queensland has been called 'discriminatory' by some students.

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Zaha Hadid, groundbreaking architect, dies at 65

Architect Zaha Hadid, who died this month aged 65.

MICHAEL KIMMELMAN   Along with being the first woman to win the Pritzker, she was the first to be awarded the RIBA Gold Medal, Britain's top architecture prize, which came in 2015.

EgyptAir hijacker was abusive, his former wife says

Mustafa is escorted by Cyprus police officers as he leaves the court after a remand hearing.

Andreas Riris and Kareem Fahim   The Egyptian man who said he hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane because he was desperate to see his former wife and children in Cyprus, was "dangerous and unpredictable" and used to beat and threaten his family, his former wife said.

German railway company introduces women-only carriages, denies claims they are responding to Cologne sex attacks

German railway company introduces women-only carriages

Rick Noack   Women-only carriages will be available on trains running between Leipzig and Chemnitz. They would be open to women and their children and monitored by a crew.

Donald Trump says abortion ban should carry punishment for women

Donald Trump's unfavourable ratings are at their highest.

Kevin Cirilli   "I am pro-life...There has to be some form of punishment."

FDA eases rules for abortion pill, making access simpler in US


Michelle Fay Cortez   The U.S. Food and Drug Administration simplified the regulations for using pills to induce an abortion, making the procedure more easily available to American women even as several states consider efforts to curtail the practice.