Eva Cox

Eva Cox

Eva Cox AO is a highly respected feminist, academic, and activist, whose work has informed and inspired a generation of women. She has been an active advocate for creating more civil societies.

Key Points

  • Eva Cox AO is a highly respected academic, activist and feminist whose work has informed and inspired a generation of women.
  • An Austrian-born Australian writer, sociologist, social commentator, and activist, Eva has been an active advocate for creating more civil societies.
  • Eva is involved in a range of social change issues and ethical accounting for responsible business enterprises, with a strong interest in improving social equity and in particular with Aboriginal policy involvement.


Eva Cox AO is an Austrian-born Australian writer, feminist, sociologist, social commentator, and activist. She has been an active advocate for creating more civil societies. 

Eva attended the University of Sydney in 1956–57, where she became associated with the Sydney Push.  Abandoning university, she travelled throughout Europe, married and gave birth to their daughter Rebecca in 1964. She returned to study as a single mother in the early 1970s, graduating with Honours in Sociology from the University of New South Wales in 1975.

In 1972, she was part of the group that started Women's Electoral Lobby, which influenced many of the changes for women over the next decades. She became and continues to be a frequent media commentator on social and feminist issues. She also joined the Australian Labor Party as an anti-war and feminist advocate, but left in the late eighties to become an independent advocate for social change.

She was Director of the New South Wales Council for Social Service from 1977–81. She was awarded a Churchill Fellowship in 1980 looking at evaluation of social programs. In the eighties she was an adviser to various Labor ministers and shadow ministers, a public servant and consultant, setting up her own private consultancy, Distaff Associates till 1984. She joined the staff of UTS teaching research and policy and was until recently the Program Director, Social Inquiry at the University of Technology Sydney

Her ABC Boyer Lectures in 1995, entitled A Truly Civil Society argued that social capital is more important than financial capital. The following year her book, Leading Women, addressed the problems women face in exercising power.

Eva was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia in 1995 for her services to women’s welfare.

Eva was named Humanist of the Year in 1997 by the Council of Australian Humanist Societies.

She has since 2007 been involved in a range of social change issues, with a strong interest in improving social equity and in particular with Aboriginal policy involvement. She is a Professorial Fellow at Jumbunna, Indigenous House of learning at UTS.

In 2011, Eva received an Australia Post Legends Award and her face appeared on a postage stamp as part of a series of four stamps honouring women who have advanced the cause of gender equality.

A Truly Civil Society (1995)
Leading Women (1996)

Presentation Topics
  • Feminism
  • Social comment
  • Politics
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