Four people were arrested in NSW this week on charges relating to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). NSW Family and Community Services Minister, Pru Goward, says that this is unlikely to be an isolated case; The Australian reports this is believed to be the first time charges have been laid for acts committed in Australia and The Telegraph says that girls need to be protected from FGM; SBS World had this special report.

In other news around Australia

  • An update on the Equal Pay arrangements for Community Sector Workers is now available 
  • In Western Australia, there are calls to urgently review domestic and family violence legislation
  • This Lateline story highlights the sexual and physical violence experienced by people with disabilities
  • The National Remembrance Quilt in honour of women and children killed in domestic violence crimes now hangs in Parliament House, Canberra. Read more about this project and its message here 
  • Australian workplaces join White Ribbon anti-violence against women movement
  • Women’s refuges report surge in demand from partners of fly-in, fly-out workers or employed on working visas


CSW57 – Preparations

Expert Group Meeting

Preparations for CSW57 start next week with the Expert Group Meeting in Thailand, from 17-20 September on the Priority Theme “”Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.””

The meeting will explore a wide range of strategies and emerging practices in preventing violence against women and girls and will focus on the following critical areas:

  • Legal and policy reforms
  • Changing the culture, work environment and practices of private and public sectors
  • Awareness-raising and mobilization
  • Engaging groups and working with individuals
  • Educational institutions and programmes
  • Promoting public safety
  • Addressing associated factors that exacerbate or intensify violence against women
  • Research, monitoring and evaluation

You can access papers being presented by the Expert Group members here

New Reports

Two reports published this week by the Australian Human Rights Commission:

  • Australian study tour report: visit of the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women identifies key issues and themes on violence against women in Australia from the 10-12 April 2012 tour and highlights the need for all governments to demonstrate their leadership to address violence against women and to fully commit to the effective implementation of the National Plan
  • Independent Interim Report for CEDAW Committee.  The AHRC report shares several of the recommendations featured in the NGOs™ Follow Up Report to the CEDAW Committee that AWAVA and NATSIWA co-ordinatedIt is particularly good to see recommendations on: 
    • Ensuring both prevention programs and critical response services are implemented and funded
    • Establishing and funding an independent monitoring and evaluation mechanism for the National Plan and 
    • Ensuring that consultation and engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women takes place in relation to all measures and decisions that affect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Upcoming Events



  • The Participatory Justice and Victims Conference will be held in Canberra, 17-18 September
  • The Southern Regional Alliance conference is now open for registrations and will be held 20-21 September
  • Take action on Peace Day 21 September, and become part of the largest gathering of people in the name of Peace and non violence. Watch the YouTube clip here
  • A FREE Workshop on responding to Older people at risk of family violence will be held 24 September in Victoria – click here for more details
  • Women’s Legal Services NSW will hold its 30th Birthday Celebration Gala Dinner on 26 September
  • Standing firm for change: a journey to justice is a national conference run by the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria. The conference will be held on 21-23 November 2012, in Melbourne.  Registration is open until 30 September




  • Australian Women’s Coalition is calling young women between 18 – 30 years who live, study or work in Auburn, Bankstown, Liverpool or Coffs Harbour NSW, or in Canberra, ACT to be a part of SHOUT!  A series of three free workshops will run in each location, complemented by an online network of support and skills-sharing and a local network of participants and AWC member organisations. The workshops will culminate in community events on Harmony Day next year, 21 March 2013. Find out more here


  • The FREDA Centre for Research on Violence Against Women and Children (School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University), in partnership with the Ending Violence Association of British Columbia (EVA BC), the Canadian Observatory on the Justice System™s Response to Intimate Partner Violence, and the BC Society of Transition Houses, invites you to join the 2012 National Research Day conference,  held 7-9 November in Vancouver