Welcome to this week’s Round-Up! Women at university are pushing back against a culture that tolerates sexual violence and fails to hold perpetrators to account. Women students are widely subjected to sexual assault, harassment, and abuse, as documented by AWAVA member organisation the National University of Students Women’s Department in their recent Talk About It report. Movements against this violence are growing, with a new national prevalence survey launched this week by the Human Rights Commission and Universities Australia, and an open letter from the current University of Sydney Women’s Officer and 12 her predecessors over the past decade accusing the university administration of deliberately stalling action on sexual assault. A special session at Prevalent & Preventable (19-22 September, Adelaide) will address this topic, with speakers including Kate Jenkins (Sex Discrimination Commissioner), Heidi La Paglia (NUS Women’s Officer) and Catriona Jackson (Universities Australia). Visit our conference website to check out the full program and register!
Around the Country
In Melbourne, child sexual assault survivor advocates have condemned a judge’s comments expressing sympathy towards a man convicted of having sex with a 14-year-old girl. The judge said that the offender, a former Children’s Court guard, was “not made of steel”, while the girl had appeared “worldly”.
Former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick has carried out a six-month study on diversity and inclusion within the AFP, finding that sexual harassment within the AFP workplace is almost twice the national average. For the copy of the report click here.
Our Watch CEO Mary Barry has written about the schools online pornography case, arguing parents need to understand that abusive behaviour by boys is not inevitable and that telling girls to be more careful is not the answer.
Around the World
In Pakistan, a not-for-profit organisation, Blue Veins, in collaboration with the District Bar Association, Aurat Foundation and USAID, has conducted training to educate lawyers about gender concepts and pro-women legislation. The training was conducted to encourage Pakistani lawyers’ active participation in law making under the international treaties and conventions ratified by Pakistan.
In Bangladesh, a pilot project in partnership with UNDP Bangladesh and Korea’s Development Agency (KOICA), has found that despite the high rate of gender based violence in the country only four per cent of victims and survivors sought support from police or agencies.
In India, Bhubaneswar intellectuals, policymakers, diplomats, academics and other professionals have gathered together for a day-long workshop on ending violence against women, following the rape of Nirbhaya in 2012.