Hi all.  In March I am going to the UN Women's annual conference in New York which is focusing on women's financial security.  My involvement stems from making an individual complaint to the UN (CEDAW in particular) about the impact of Australian government policy on single mothers whereby they are forced off Parenting Payment Single when their youngest turns 8 and onto the seriously inadequate Newstart.  Essentially they are no longer recognised as parents and only as unemployed workers.  I myself experienced this process and could not believe how gendered and punitive and conditional the whole process is, despite my education, social capital and can-do attitude. The complaint was the brainchild of Terese Edwards, the CEO of the Australian Council for Single Mothers and their Children.  The complaint took two years to put together, with help from Human Rights lawyer Beth Goldblatt and various others.  It is the first complaint of its kind, and demonstrates that the policy is in conflict with about 18 women's rights and 12 children's rights that out government has pledged to honour on paper.  Terese and I are going to participate in the conference as speakers to share how we got this far, and encourage others.  We also want to learn how single mothers are weathering in other countries and systems. So many of my facebook friends and others have supported this journey and all the peripheral work I've done that's connected to it. And you know the great thing.  Many of them aren't in the system, many of them aren't on the receiving end of gendered and debilitating policy, but hey, we all have mums, aunties, daughters, friends, whose only road block has been policy and systemic bolders.   I want to use my voice for all those people in your lives who don't know they're being dealt a dodgy deal, or who are too afraid, or who have already had their spirit crushed.  I will tell their stories, and mine, and together we'll help powers that be see that we're not so different, we're not lazy and morally corrupt. We're actually pretty rad.