ABSTRACT

As in many Western countries, the Australian women’s movement tended to

drop out of sight in the 1990s. The reduced level of public protest and media

coverage together with other factors such as the advance of neoliberalism led to

a loss of interest by governments in courting the women’s movement. We noted

in Chapter 1 how some social movement scholars (and social movement activ-

ists) blamed this loss of influence on entanglement in the state, leading to co-

option and displacement of goals. Women’s advocacy organisations were viewed

as becoming dependent on state funding and increasingly professionalised to

satisfy the requirement of the state for expert knowledge.1