Welcome to the week’s Round-Up. In a speech that has resonated with women around the world, United States First Lady Michelle Obama has voiced a powerful condemnation of the sexual objectification of women. Addressing Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s defence of his comments about women as “locker room banter”, she said, “This is not something that we can ignore. It’s not something we can just sweep under the rug as just another disturbing footnote in a sad election season. Because this was not just a ‘lewd conversation’… This was a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour, and actually bragging…” Michelle Obama’s speech is a strong reminder that such behaviour and attitudes must not be tolerated or condoned.
For those who want to take action, please join one of the Reclaim the Night marches that will be happening simultaneously in various places across Australia and in other parts of the world, on Friday 28 October. Reclaim the Night marches are held every year on the last Friday in October to protest violence against women and their children, particularly sexual violence, and to re-assert women’s right to be safe in public spaces. For more information, see our Get Involved section below.
Around the Country
- The COAG National Summit on Reducing Violence against Women has been announced. It will review progress and highlight best practice in government efforts to reduce violence against women. The Summit will be held in Brisbane on 27 and 28 October and will be co-hosted by the Premier of Queensland, the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, and the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP. Online Roundtables will enable contributions from those not attending
- In Victoria, the Department of Education has released the new Respectful Relationship curriculum which will be mandatory in all state schools from foundation year onwards to work towards eliminating gender stereotypes and male privilege.
- In a video interview shared online, ANROWS has discussed with University of New South Wales Associate Professor Jan Breckenridge the project she coordinated to evaluate and compare State and Territory governments’ “Safe at Home” programs addressing homelessness and other issues arising from domestic violence.
- Our Watch is developing a new resource on preventing violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, which is expected to be released in 2017. For more information, click here.
- Jenna Price has written about cuts to funding for legal services, noting that community legal centres including women’s legal services are already forced to turn away 160,000 people each year, a situation that will worsen dramatically once further cuts come into effect in July 2017.
- In Queensland, RizeUp, a non for profit organisation based in the Gold Coast has been making a difference in the lives of women and children survivors by creatively transforming homes using furniture and home items donated online.
Around the World
- In Liberia, the United Nations has called for an end to the widespread impunity for sexual offenders caused by institutional weakness, corruption and financial constraints.
- In South Africa, Fezekile Kuzwayo, the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of raping her in 2005, has died. A memorial was held to remember her life and work as well as for activists to reiterate calls for a strong stand against gender-based violence.
- The Scottish government has made a decision to invest £665,000 over the next two years for the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre (SWRC) to expand their work in Dundee and the Highlands, extending their services to more women.
- In the United States, Paul Ang, director of men’s engagement at Centre for Awareness, Response and Education (CARE) has launched NÜ Men, a six-week program of group discussion among university men to deconstruct ideas of masculinity and the attitudes and behaviour that result in violence.
Research and Reports
- White Ribbon Australia has released findings of a study of its Ambassador Program conducted by University of Wollongong researchers, Kenton Bell and Claire E. Seaman. Through in-depth interviews and online survey, the project investigated the motivations behind men’s participation in the Ambassador program as well as their roles and the challenges they face as ambassadors.
- The Office for Women is inviting applications from civil society to be part of the Australian Government delegation to the 61st session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) to be held in New York from13-24 March 2017. The due date for applications has been extended and will now close 59pm AEDST Sunday 30 October 2016.
- WESNET is hosting the Inaugural Technology Safety Summitin Sydney on 21 November 2016. This one-day conference will focus on the various complex issues and concerns that come from the intersection of technology and domestic and sexual violence, and stalking. The Tech Summit will bring together those working with women and their children experiencing violence and other stakeholders from government and corporate Australia. Attendees of the Tech Summit will learn how technology can be misused as a tactic of abuse, how women experiencing gender-based violence can use technology to improve their safety and privacy, how digital evidence can be collected to hold perpetrators accountable, and how agencies can strengthen policies and practices to improve service delivery, and what other support technology and telecommunications companies can provide. To find out more and register please visit the conference website. Early bird rates close on 21 October.
- ANROWS in partnership with Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence Against Women and their Children (MAEVe) at the University of Melbourne will hold the free public lecture “Translating Violence Against Women Knowledge into Action” on the 25th of October in Melbourne Museum, 11 Nicholson St., Carlton VIC. Register here.
- Lucy’s Project is inviting everyone to join the “Domestic Violence and Animal Abuse-International Perspectives, Conference 2016”, which will be held from 5-6 of November at the Portside Conference Centre, near Wynyard Station, Sydney CBD. Click here to book tickets.
- FECCA is hiring a Communications Advisor for a one year full-time contract until 30 June 2017 with possibility of extension. Click here for more information.
- The National Rural Women’s Coalition Ltd is calling for expressions of interest for the role of Independent Director for a period of two years commencing 24th of November 2016. To apply or for more information email [email protected].
- The National Rural Women’s Coalition is launching “Brave Danny” a picture book for children on 24th November from 5-7 pm at Melbourne Ether Conference Centre, 265 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne. The book was written by Robin Adolps for children and illustrated by Nicky Johnston. For more information, contact [email protected].
- Across Australia (and elsewhere) Reclaim the Night marches are held on the last Friday in October, to protest violence against women and their children, particularly sexual violence, and to re-assert our right to be safe in public spaces. This year marches will be on Friday 28 October. Check your networks and social media for details about local events. Marches will be held in Brisbane,Canberra (organising led by our member organisation Canberra Rape Crisis Centre), Darwin (organised by our member Ruby Gaea Centre against Sexual Violence), Alice Springs and no doubt elsewhere!
- The Adelaide White Ribbon Breakfast will be held on 25 November at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 6:45 am to 9:00 am. The guest speaker will be the honourable Marcia Neave, chair of the recent Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence. Book here.
- The University of Melbourne has created a website called ‘NotTheOnlyOne’ where women can anonymously read and share stories about experiencing family and domestic violence.
- The National Multicultural Women’s Conference will be held on 3 and 4 November 2016 in Parkroyal Parramatta, Sydney. Find out more here.
- Soroptomist International Australia is sponsoring the Rosie Batty Roadshow from 5 October to 7 November 2016, travelling from Brisbane to Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne and Adelaide. Proceeds will go to the Women’s Legal Services in each capital that Rosie will visit. To buy your tickets click here.