The Governor General in Australia and gender equality

Gleeson, Kate and Breda, Vito (2020) The Governor General in Australia and gender equality. Royal Studies Journal, 7 (2). pp. 10-30.

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Abstract

This article takes the appointment and term in office of Governor General of Australia, Dame Quentin Bryce (2008-2014), as the basis for a discussion about the potential role of the Governor General in promoting progress on issues of gender equality and minority rights protections. The article adopts a multidisciplinary methodology, combining law and feminist political science to analyse different receptions of the post when it is occupied by men and women engaged in debates concerning different minority populations. It makes a brief comparison with the institution of the President of the Republic of Ireland as functionally equivalent to that of the Governor General, in their respective roles promoting national identity and unity. With this comparison in mind, the article contends that the Governor General’s constitutional mandate presents no barrier to the holder of the office advocating for gender equality and minority rights protection. In fact, such advocacy, as exemplified by Quentin Bryce’s controversial public support for marriage equality during her term in office, is desirable, because equality is a key normative element of modern democracy. The article then critiques—from the perspective of feminist institutionalism—the gendered nature of the office of Governor General and considers how the office can and may in future evolve away from its gendered foundation.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND-4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Law and Justice (1 Jul 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2020 04:29
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2021 22:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: Governor General; Australia; marriage equality, gender equality; feminist institutionalism
Fields of Research (2008): 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180108 Constitutional Law
18 Law and Legal Studies > 1801 Law > 180106 Comparative Law
Fields of Research (2020): 48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4804 Law in context > 480407 Law, gender and sexuality (incl. feminist legal scholarship)
48 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 4803 International and comparative law > 480302 Comparative law
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940113 Gender and Sexualities
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/40058

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