Australian Legal System Essay

Pages: 6 (2069 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Sports - Women

Australian Legal System

Migrant women constitute a growing proportion of the childbearing population in many high-income countries (McLachlan and Waldenstrom, 2005). Migrant women are often classified as unskilled, and they constitute the largest and most vulnerable category among migrants (Piper, 2004). Women who do not belong to the dominant culture, or who are different because of their race, sexual orientation or disability, continue to confront marginalization in the policymaking process and require different strategies to integrate their agendas into the public policy process (Rankin and Vickers, 2001).

During 1989-1990, women made up just over 40% of those classified as principal applicants for settlement in Australia. The eligibility of these people to immigrate was looked at, and if successful, other members of their immediate family were then permitted to enter as dependents. Many years later, a Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Australia showed that the figure for the similar category of primary applicants had increased to 48%. It also demonstrates that four percent more of settlers who arrived in Australia in the year to June 2002, were women (Inglis, 2003).

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Additional strengthening of migrant women's potential contributions has been on economic restructuring and shifting away from manual labor. This has increased the occupational choices that are open to women migrants. It has also opened doors to Australia through policies that encourage high-skilled workers. Changes in Australia's immigration selection policies, in order to give greater importance to skilled, well-educated workers has indirectly favored the selection of women immigrants. The earlier prominence on selecting as the breadwinner, or head of the family unit, men who could fill the labor market's need for manual labor made sure that most women were granted immigrant status as dependent wives or daughters of those men. Highly educated and skilled professional women now find it easier to migrate to Australia based on their own attributes, rather than those of their husband or father (Inglis, 2003).

Essay on Australian Legal System Assignment

Another contributing factor to the rise in Australia's population of women immigrants is the wearing down of traditional social constraints on these women in their own countries. These increases replicate the breakdown of such constraints on women's domestic roles that kept them at home while their fathers and husbands went overseas (Inglis, 2003).

In spite of the overall increase in number of female migrants to Australia, in most entry categories, there has been little discrepancy in the numbers of men and women who are immigrating. The major exception was for those selected under the family reunification program in the year to June 2002, when 61.7% of the 23,344 arrivals were women. Men have slightly outnumbered the women in all the other entry categories. The largest disparity was among those selected as independents where 46.3% of the 21,850 arrivals were women (Inglis, 2003).

The ongoing importance of women among the family arrivals suggests that many continue to migrate as what are seen as followers or trailing spouses. This classification ignores women's involvement in developing their family's approach for emigration, as well as the strategy whereby some individual women create marital relationships with Australian men as a basis for migrating (Inglis, 2003).The chief justice of Australia's state of New South Wales State has said that violence against women among new migrant cultures is an increasing challenge for Australia's legal system. Justice Jim Spigelman has said that Australian courts have seen more cases of honor crimes and forced marriages. Supporters say it's an error to think migrant cultures are getting special legal treatment. As an alternative, they need services that can guarantee justice (Aust legal system may face challenges over migrant attitudes to women, 2010).

Justice Spigelman says Western societies have done a lot to tackle abuse of women - but some minorities in Australia have sexist traditions that are even more pervasive. He says that this plays a part in a several crimes against women, which many Western countries, including Australia, have to deal with. The idea that cultural traditions could be used as an excuse for crimes against women is against all legal principles (Aust legal system may face challenges over migrant attitudes to women, 2010).

Women's roles often are thought to be tied to conditions in their country of origin. The pattern of establishing marital relations, for example, is most frequently associated with the Philippines-born population, 66% of whom are women. This relationship stems from the fact that a large proportion enter as partners of Australian residents. These are rarely fake marriages but rather, they have tended to involve men who are less successful in the local marriage market because of their age, rural residence, or both. This plan also exists, if less significantly, in other countries where opportunities for women to emigrate to Australia are narrow. This occurs because Australia lacks the popular entry ways via domestic work that exists in other countries (Inglis, 2003).

While modifications in selection policy have reduced women's reliance on their gendered roles of wife, mother, or daughter, the daily reality of their lives in Australia ensures that these roles continue to affect their daily experiences. Many earlier immigrant wives only entered the paid Australian labor market to help with their family's economic assimilation. Among the more skilled arrivals, the experience of re starting their career has often been postponed until their husband and children have become settled in work and schooling. Migration thus persists to represent a challenge in women's economic and family roles, as well as in their standard pattern of relations with husbands and children (Inglis, 2003).

One of the major government-promoted shifts in systems for regulating social relations in Australia in recent years has been the introduction of enterprise bargaining, particularly at the federal level where a majority of workers are now covered by enterprise agreements that partly or completely replace award provisions. The likely unfavorable impact on women, on workers from NESB and particularly on migrant women workers from NESB, was well-known and expressed at the time when the system was being formulated by the Federal Government and being endorsed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU). "Indeed, the introduction of protections by the Government in the form of legislative antidiscrimination, 'no disadvantage' and consultation requirements was a response that contained within it a tacit recognition of the likely disadvantages of the new system for vulnerable workers" (Alcorso, 1995).

Australia has a very restrictive and debatably racist immigration policy that favors access to the country for those people with wealth and power. Consequently people from poorer regions and lower socioeconomic backgrounds are lacking. Many sex workers from Asian countries who are overwhelmingly women would never get access to Australia under these rigorous conditions and so in order to gain a visa, many migrant sex workers enter into contracts with people who will sponsor and assist them with entry into Australia. This contract agreement is illegal under Federal Immigration & Sex Slavery Laws, and sex workers are thought to have been trafficked into the Australian sex industry. The illegal status of overseas sex workers goes against many migrant workers in Australia from fully gaining access to health and other support services for fear of detection by the Government. The coercive, servile or slave-like conditions that some sex workers find themselves in upon arrival are a direct result of the relative powerlessness of these illegal workers to negotiate the conditions of their employment and other conditions (Migrant Workers in Australia, n.d.).

Progress is slow, however, and the last ten years have been characterized by a two steps forward, one step back approach for migrant women. The world does not operate in a vacuum but in a context where economic efficiency and development are seen by many to be vital. It is assumed by many of our leaders that if we get the big picture right - that is the economy - then social justice and prosperity will follow. If business is assisted through subsidies and less regulation, then jobs will follow. Many of the gains that have taken place over the last ten years have been intended to protect the disadvantaged, and softening the effect for those who do not come out on top. This has been important and has made a difference to many individual women and their families. Ultimately, gains for NESB women will come with improvements at the macro level that affect employment, income and social infrastructure (Georgopoulos, 1996).

The high incidence of marriage migrants in Australia results in the account of many women as mail-order brides. Personified by race, sex and as being submissive wives, marriage migrants are susceptible to abuse and violence. Other similar groups of women migrating for marriage face the same potential for abuse and violence, and little acknowledgment has been given to the participation of any of these women in society as citizens. Very often they have been represented as if they were trapped in time, helpless victims without anyone to negotiate their marginality and subordination, let alone help them to exercise their citizenship (Bonifacio, 2009).

The Australian government increasingly looks at migration through the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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