Archive | October 2012

Gay Marriage and the Feminist critique

In her discussion of same sex marriage, Catherine Donovan (2004) argues against same sex marriage, drawing upon several feminist critiques of marriage as a social institution. Critically evaluate feminist concerns about the institution of marriage, and make a case as to why this institution should be opened to same-sex couples, or should perhaps be widely disbanded. (In your answer you should consider the available Australian statistical data on things like domestic labour, childrearing, and work in families.) 

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Some critics suggest that International NGOs should focus most if not all of their efforts on fighting poverty rather than advancing other goals, such as fostering civil and political rights. Is this view correct? Why or why not?

            German philosopher Thomas Pogge is famous of his notion of “awesome responsibility” that both Non-Government Institutions(NGO) and their donors have when it comes to international aid programs and human rights enforcement.  As Pogge himself says “To put it bluntly, an INGO must often make decisions that will certainly lead to many deaths because spending one’s limited funds on trying to protect some is tantamount to leaving  others to their fate“(2007:220). This line along with the rest of his justification of it carries with it some strong notions of whether or not NGO’s are doing a morally correct job or are even grossly misguided. Namely they carry that by taking cost effectiveness into account, NGO’s should focus most, if not all of their efforts on fighting poverty rather than advancing other goals, such as fostering civil and political rights.

I do not believe such a view is correct. I will explain this point of view by focusing on three key areas. Firstly, I will tackle the notion that NGO’s and their donors are responsible for the deaths of those they either choose not to help, or cannot help. Secondly, I will highlight the immaterial nature of taking Pogge’s claim seriously, that such people are responsible. Thirdly I will focus on how using Pogge’s own value of cost effectiveness, one must account not only for the skills which an individual, or collective of individuals has, but also for the passions which drive their bid to help those who are in need.

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Public transport officials oppose government proposal for East-West Link

Funding for a new East-West Link for Melbourne’s roads misses the point in trying to fix its transportation issues

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Women under represented in local government

Australia fails at a local level to uphold its international reputation for gender equality in politics.

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