It was a tumultuous week in politics. During the last Parliamentary Sitting for the year, turmoil reached new heights with a change in Prime-Minister and a Cabinet reshuffle. As election campaigning begins, AWAVA continues to focus on the policy platforms on violence against women presented by each major political party. As part of AWAVA’s contribution to the ‘Priorities for Women‘ project, a joint National Women’s Alliances project led by Equality Rights Alliance, AWAVA has sent letters to major parties to discuss their policies on gender-based violence; their views of the challenges; their commitment to the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and funding frameworks. The ‘Priorities for Women‘ project encourages women to vote independently, effectively and in an informed manner. Look out for activities relating to its upcoming launch on the ‘In Focus’ section of our website, along with Facebook and Twitter.
No matter which party becomes the government of the day, the fight to end violence against women and girls continues.
Around the nation
- AWAVA Advisory Group Member and Executive Officer of the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre, Chrystina Stanford, spoke out against the under-reporting of sexual violence in the Parliamentary Group on Population and Development’s new short film ‘1 in 3’
- In NSW, the long-awaited Domestic and Family Violence Framework was released for public comment, with the Women’s Legal Service New South Wales and the Office of the Attorney-General both issuing media releases
- The Victorian ‘Policing Just Outcomes Report’ delivered damning findings on the nature of sexual assault investigations that were covered by the Herald Sun Newspaper
- The Sydney Morning Herald critically reflected on Australia’s ranking in the WHO report on violence against women (see last week’s round-up) noting that “the rate of violence against women in Australia is not that much lower than the rates in developing countries and that’s not good enough.”
- A St Kilda Football Club fan deconstructed the harmful ‘good bloke’ narrative that devalues the experiences of victim/survivors in response to the allegations against Stephen Milne
- The CEO of Project Respect, a non-governmental organisation supporting women in the sex industry, gave a compelling interview with the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault
- Anna Johnson, an Australian delegate to the UN’s 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, criticised the lack of preventive education for young people, “we have failed to explain to young people the concepts of consent, sexual assault and domestic violence”
Around the world
- Massive protests in the streets of Kolkata shone a spotlight on spiralling levels of violence against women in West Bengal where supporters said “this unending violence against women and the general sense of insecurity…has gripped the state”
- For the first time in its 60 year history, the World Bank South East Asia office joined the global movement to end gender-based violence, which is crucial considering a UNFPA report called this region the most ‘gender-insensitive’ in the world.
- As the Syrian conflict escalates, women and girls are being increasingly targeted and the Human Rights Watch is overwhelmingly concerned for female detainees
- In the UK, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children launched a helpline to protect children from female genital mutilation because “…child victims of female genital mutilation are hidden behind a wall of silence. Like other forms of abuse, if female genital mutilation is not exposed it will continue to thrive and more children will suffer.”
- The Government of Canada took bold new steps to end violence against women and girls in the Yukon by funding a 24-month bilingual project engaging men and boys in responses to gender-based violence
- A powerful piece in the Huffington Post reversed the conventional conversation about violence against women
- Soraya Chemaly hit back at the grossly misinformed comment from Republican Jodie Laubenberg that rape kits are a form of abortion and meant to “clean” women out
- Recently, the UK Commons International Development Committee published a report on violence against women and girls
- Complementing the WHO report (published in last week’s round-up), the Lancet Journal published a systematic review of the global prevalence of intimate partner homicide finding that “awareness of violence against women as a health problem (and not just a criminal justice or domestic issue) is still low in many countries…”
- UN Women has called for written communications on human rights violations to be submitted to the Commission on the Status of Women by 1 August 2013
- The NSW Domestic and Family Violence Framework is open for public comment until 23 July 2013, so please follow the link for more details
**Articles published do not necessarily reflect the views of AWAVA and are included as items of interest only