- Occupation Lobby group, Women's Rights Organisation
Endeavour Forum was established in Melbourne in 1979 as Women Who Want to Be Women, largely through the efforts of Babette Francis. It is a Christian, pro-life, pro-family lobby group with members in all Australian states. According to its website, the group was set up to ‘counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family.’ Although outlawing abortion is high on their agenda, the group’s broader aim is to prevent economic forces such as high taxation ‘destroying families’. In particular it lobbies for the right of women to choose to be full time homemakers without suffering what they see as economic discrimination. While. it supports equality of opportunity for men and women in employment and education, it opposes affirmative action or positive discrimination.
Endeavour Forum was set up to ‘counter feminism, defend the unborn and the traditional family’, its members believing that ‘men and women are equal but different not equal and the same.’ The first action of the group was the presentation of a petition to Federal Parliament calling for the abolition of the National Women’s Advisory Council on the grounds that it did not represent the views of all Australian women. It lobbies to promote and defend public policies and legislation which uphold the what they define as the ‘values of marriage and family life’. In particular it lobbies for the right of women to choose to be full time homemakers without suffering what they see as economic discrimination. While, it supports equality of opportunity for men and women in employment and education it opposes affirmative action or positive discrimination. In 1987 the group adopted the name Endeavour Forum. Apart from Babette Francis, key figures in the group include Jackie Butler, Jan McLean and Valerie Renkema. As of 2004, its ‘Principles and Aims’ were:
1. ENDEAVOUR FORUM aims to enhance the status of uniquely female roles – we affirm that men and women are equal but different, not equal and the same.
2.ENDEAVOUR FORUM recognises the contribution made by the Christian ethic in raising the status of women.
3. ENDEAVOUR FORUM supports the concept of equality of opportunity in education and employment for males and females but does not support the ‘elimination of sexism’, a concept which involves denial of the differences between the sexes: sex differences are significant, the sexes being different and complementary.
4. ENDEAVOUR FORUM aims to achieve status and economic justice for the traditional female roles of child rearing and homemaking, and for the ‘caring for persons’ vocations: caring for elderly, the sick and the handicapped.
5. ENDEAVOUR FORUM respects the marriage relationship and seeks cooperation, not confrontation, between the sexes.
6. ENDEAVOUR FORUM affirms that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and State: a ‘family’ is a kinship group of people linked by ties of blood, marriage or adoption who live together for the purpose of child-rearing and the satisfaction of other human needs.
7. ENDEAVOUR FORUM supports the right to life of all human beings from conception to natural death; men and women not only have rights, they also have responsibilities, in particular to their children who need parental protection and support both before and after birth.
8. ENDEAVOUR FORUM supports the right of a woman to be a full-time mother and homemaker and to have this right recognised by laws that obligate her husband to provide the primary financial support for her and their children.
9. ENDEAVOUR FORUM supports fiscal policies that recognise the major contribution made by women in their child-rearing and homemaking roles to the well-being of the nation, and in particular those policies which assist in establishing the status of a wife as an equal partner in the marriage.
10. ENDEAVOUR FORUM affirms the right of women employed in physical labour to be protected by laws and regulations that respect the physical differences and family obligations of men and women.
- Edited Book