This 16 Days of Activism and beyond, let’s change the story and create a future where we are all safe, equal and respected.

We all deserve to be safe, equal and respected. But on average, a woman in Australia is killed by a man they know every 10 days. It doesn’t have to be this way. 

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign led annually by UN Women. It runs every year from 25 November (the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (Human Rights Day).  

During the 16 Days of Activism, communities around the world join the call to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls. 

Read more about the campaign here

Safe and Equal have launched a new suite of online training about pornography, young people and sexuality available through a dedicated resource hub on the It’s time we talked website.  

These resources have been developed as a part of the Addressing Pornography’s Influence Project (API) with funding from The Ian Potter Foundation and The Myer Foundation. The API project is a collaboration between Maree Crabbe (Director of It’s time we talked) and Safe and Equal. The project aims to broaden the reach and sustainability of Maree’s ground-breaking work through It’s time we talked – a violence prevention project addressing the influence of pornography on young people and how it shapes their understanding of gender, sex, sexuality and healthy relationships.  

The project has also included development of tailored video resources for Safe and Equal to use within trainings and communities of practices. The videos support us to assist prevention practitioners, particularly those working with young people, to understand how pornography contributes to young people’s sexual socialisation and reinforces the drivers of gender-based violence, and what they can do to respond. 

Read more and access training here

We all deserve to be respected for who we are. But growing up, many of us are told we should have certain skills, likes and dislikes, and ways we should look based on our gender – rather than who we are as a person.  

Assumptions about gender limit us. They create expectations about who carries the parenting load and does most of the housework. Whose role it is to earn money, and the kinds of jobs we should have. Who gets to make decisions – at home, work, and in our communities. Who is allowed to be emotional, and who is allowed to be assertive. What we can wear and how we should look.  

These ideas keep us from being ourselves and filter through our relationships, workplaces, and communities. They limit opportunities and choices and can lead to discrimination and violence. It’s important to challenge assumptions about gender to help create a society where everyone is free to be themselves.

What could a world look like where we are all free and supported to be ourselves?  

It all starts with a conversation

Under the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-2032 (the National Plan), the Australian Government has released the First Action Plan 2023-2027, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan 2023-2025 and the Outcomes Framework 2023-2032.

For the first time, the Australian, state and territory governments have a dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan. It was developed in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council on family, domestic, and sexual violence, and was informed through nationwide consultation with victim-survivors, community and sector representatives.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan acknowledges the disproportionate levels of violence, harm and trauma suffered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, children and gender diverse peoples.  It recognises that solutions need to be led by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and outlines government initiatives that will focus on addressing immediate safety needs, while laying the foundations for longer term change. 

Click here to access the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan and Outcomes Framework

Tips for challenging outdated and rigid gender stereotypes:

Most of us grew up with a script about what it means to be a man or a woman.  

For men, it can look like: ‘You’re tough, you’re in charge. You’re not sad – you’re angry. Your job is to earn. You’re a worker, not a carer.’ 

For women, it can look like: ‘You’re caring and submissive – you’re nice. You’re in charge of the housework, and you can expect less pay at work because you’re a woman.’  

When left unchallenged, these scripts set the scene for exhaustion, resentment, and inequality. They also contribute to the culture that drives violence against women.   

The good news? A different ending is possible. We can free ourselves from outdated and rigid gender stereotypes by having conversations about respecting each other’s time, effort and needs. At work, with your mates, and at home. 

Read full article here

Content warning: This article contains references to pornography and sexual acts.

Daniel is a youth advocate and consent educator. He says before we talk about consent, we need to address pornography’s pervasive message that women should and can be disrespected.

“Like many people I know, I didn’t receive sex-ed, or a sexual education, at school or at home. But I did learn about sex and consent. I received a comprehensive education from when I was 11 and first exposed to pornography.

It was an education that lasted 10 years and shaped my attitudes towards men, women, bodies, violence, respect, intimacy, consent and pleasure. I didn’t recognise the influence it had on me until I stopped consuming the content.

I realised watching porn was incompatible with my values of justice and equality and my intention to be respectful and empathetic. Watching porn meant my attitudes had been unconsciously moulded in adolescence.”

Read full article here

Breaking down gender biases: Shifting social norms towards gender equality.

Without tackling biased gender social norms, we will not achieve gender equality or the Sustainable Development Goals. Biased gender social norms—the undervaluation of women’s capabilities and rights in society—constrain women’s choices and opportunities by regulating behaviour and setting the boundaries of what women are expected to do and be. Biased gender social norms are a major impediment to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

Read full report here

Over the last month we’ve been talking all things NCAS (National Community Attitudes Survey) here at ANROWS. 

The NCAS is a unique and important piece of evidence, where we can take stock as a country and where we can consider what we really think about violence against women. Many of these results are deeply disturbing.  But things have, and are, shifting. Across the country our attitudes towards violence against women are improving. 

If we want to change behaviour, we must change attitudes. If we want to reduce the prevalence of family and sexual violence, we must change our thinking towards this violence.  If you haven’t already watched the NCAS Launch, then don’t miss out. Hear from the incredible Jayke Burgess, Chanel Contos, Rosie Batty AO and Lula Dembele. 

Watch the NCAS Launch here

The 2021 NCAS has shown that overall Australians attitudes towards violence against women have improved, but there is still a long way to go. 

Key Findings:

Click here to read report

We are proud to release our latest Victorian Women’s Health Atlas update, where we have drilled down into PBS, MBS and Census statistics to record sexual and reproductive service delivery and track gender inequality markers in Victoria by location.

Women’s Health Victoria is leading this important work so the public, health professionals and policy makers can see how:
• access to medication abortion and long-acting reversible contraception is still largely determined by where you live in Victoria.
• gender inequities persist in relation to unpaid domestic work, weekly earnings, and employment status.

Visit the Victorian Women’s Health Atlas website to see how your Local Government Area (LGA) fares when it comes to local provision of contraception and medication abortion, rates of unpaid domestic work for men and women, and much more.

We have a long way to go to achieve gender equity and equitable access to sexual and reproductive health services. Women’s Health Victoria will continue to advocate for and champion the health and wellbeing of women and gender diverse people.

Explore the Women’s Health Atlas or visit the Women’s Health Victoria website to find out more about our work in supporting Victorian women to live well: healthy, empowered and equal.

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