The 60th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women came to an end last Friday, with the adoption of the agreed conclusions. The conclusions were reached after long and extensive negotiations, resulting in some significant steps forward, as well as some less promising developments. Some achievements include the stand-alone paragraph on strengthening the position of Indigenous women, recognition of the impact of climate change on women and girls, and commitment to increasing the participation of National Human Rights Institutions at CSW. However, there is much to be done in relation to reproductive rights, violence against women and sexual and gender diversity. Failure to acknowledge the diversity of families was also a disappointment. For more thorough analysis, watch this wrap-up video by Hannah Gissane from Equality Rights Alliance and AWAVA Advisory Group member Bonney Corbin. Liz Ford from the Guardian has also written a piece on the negotiation process, echoing many of the concerns raised in the ERA/AWAVA video wrap-up. Follow us on facebook and twitter (@AWAVA_women) for more analysis and commentary on CSW!
Around the Country
- Three-time AFL Premiership player Jimmy Bartel has spoken up about his family’s experience with domestic violence. He hopes to use his platform to generate awareness about family and domestic violence and raise money for the Luke Batty Foundation and Geelong-based group, Bethany.[Content note: This article contains graphic descriptions of domestic violence]
- Research from Victoria’s Crimes Statistics Agency has shown that rates of reported family violence in same sex couples have increased over the last five years. Unfortunately, there is a significant shortage of services addressing violence in same sex relationships.
- Christine Craik from RMIT University has written about the crucial role that specialist women’s services play in preventing and responding to violence against women. [This article contains content that may be distressing for some readers]
- The Australian mission to the UN Commission on the Status of Women co-hosted a side event to display the work of the Silent Tears project aimed at raising awareness about violence against women with disabilities. [This article contains graphic images that may be distressing to some readers]
- In Victoria, the Royal Commission into Family Violence delivered its report to Government House on Tuesday morning.
- Also in Victoria, the premier has announced a $10 million boost to domestic and family violence services, together with a new victims’ and survivors’ advisory council.
- In the ACT, Minister for Women and Housing Yvette Berry has voiced concerns over potential defunding of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and has called for better cooperation from the Turnbull Government on addressing housing and domestic violence services.
Around the World
- The International Criminal Court has issued its first ever conviction for rape as a war crime, finding former Congolese Vice President Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty on five charges of crimes against humanity and war crimes.
- In Pakistan, Women’s Action Forum and other women’s activists have urged the government to reject pressure from religious groups to amend the recent Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act 2015.
- In Rwanda, Plan International has committed to addressing violence against women in refugee camps.
- In Mexico, women’s activists are using performance and street theatre to protest violence against women.
- Karen Stahl, Technical Assistant Coordinator of US-based National Sexual Violence Resource Centre has written about how well-designed self-defence programs can play a role in preventing sexual violence without shifting the blame and responsibility to prevent violence onto the victim.
- The ACT Office for Women has opened nominations for the ACT Violence Prevention Awards. For more information, follow this link. Nominations close at 5pm on 26 April 2016.
- Marai Larasi and Prof Rashida Manjoo will be the keynote speakers for the AWAVA/ Our Watch international conference on violence against women (19 to 22 September 2016). Find out more and sign on for email updates at our website!
- ANROWS invites applications for funding under the Perpetrator Interventions Research Stream, closing on 28 April 2016
- Our member organisation, Ruby Gaea, is running a campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is held every April. The goal of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violation, and to educate communities and individuals about how to prevent sexual assault. This Awareness Month, Ruby Gaea is encouraging the community to take action and organise an event at your school or workplace on the International Day of Action on April 5. For more information or ideas on events, please contact Ruby Gaea’s education team on [email protected] or 08 8945 0155.
- 1800 Respect is running a webinar titled, ‘Understanding the complexities in LGBTIQ domestic and family violence’ on April 21 at 1pm AEST. Register here!
- The 2nd Annual Men’s Behaviour Change Network NSW Conference will be held at the Rydges Sydney Central Hotel on 4 and 5 May 2016. Register here by 8 April!
- The Nursing Network on Violence Against Women International (NNVAWI) invites individuals interested in presenting at the 21st NNVAWI conference to submit presentation abstracts. The theme of the conference is ‘Strengthening healthcare systems to promote safety and health of women and families’ and will be held on 26, 27 and 28 October. The deadline for abstracts has now been postponed to 15 April here!