by John Bottomley
Our System Isn’t Geared for Death is a report of Creative Ministries Network into the experience of workers’ compensation for widows bereaved by a work-related death. This is Australia’s first theological and sociological pilot research study on the topic and is based on interviews with ten widows on workers compensation bereaved by their husband’s death.
The women were courageous and honest in speaking about their experiences, and the report highlights that the system which traces its origins to 19th century Germany and the UK, was never designed to support bereaved families.
The interviews explore how the widows’ current suffering has its roots in 19th century assumptions about women’s economic dependence as wives of ‘bread-winners’, the cultural dismissal of the spirituality of death, and the creation of widows as individual victims. The theme that emerged was a picture of injustice heaped on injustice.
The report listens to the injustices to frame a series of alternative options from the widows’ narratives that may restore human dignity and create paths to justice which can contribute to improved workplace health and safety.
Available from Creative Ministries Network. Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org