8 Austl. J.L. & Soc'y 80 (1992)
Do Women Need Equal Treatment or Different Treatment

handle is hein.journals/aujls8 and id is 86 raw text is: Do Women Need Equal Treatment or
Different Treatment?
Carol Bacchi
Women in different countries and in several contexts are facing versions
of this question. American feminists have disagreed publicly about an
appropriate response, with some groups campaigning on occasion to defeat
reform proposals put forward by other groups. The particular issue in this case
is maternity leave legislation, to cover the period around the birth of a child,
which some feminists are pursuing, while others think it both more appropriate
and more effective to seek short-term disability leave for male and female
The subject also causes difficulty for feminists elsewhere as is indicated by recent
discussion of the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maternity Protection
Convention which considered whether special protection for women workers
[around the area of maternity] is contrary to the principle of equality.!
There is abundant and valuable literature on what is often referred to as the equal
treatment/special treatment debate. Participants in the debate use other labels for
their positions though I have decided to retain 'equal treatment' and 'special
I WomENs BuREU MATERNrryAND PARENrAL LEAVE, Information Paper No 3,39 (Department
of Employment and Industrial Relations 1985).

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