The rallying cry of women all around the globe will again be heard in this year’s commemoration of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Running from 25 November to 10 December, this annual event brings together campaigns in more than 165 countries.
Originally conceived by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991, this global event has demanded attention to the issues of violence against women, and has contributed to efforts to change the status quo in communities where women are subjected to inequality, exploitation and abuse. Here in Australia, campaigns are happening simultaneously in different areas, run by various groups.
AWAVA’s social media campaign will focus on the human right to effective services for people subjected to violence, and the central role of specialist women’s services in fulfilling this right. The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service Victoria (FVPLS) has identified 16 actions that people can take to stand firm in support of Aboriginal women and children. Women’s Legal Service Australia together with the Luke Batty foundation will also run a social media campaign, focusing on the Five Step Plan for Safety First in family law. Another campaign, prosecute; don’t perpetrate, calls for an end to impunity for sexual violence in armed conflict. Join in!#16daysOfActivism #16days #EndGBV #prosecutedontperpetrate
- Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE) together with Southern Melbourne Integrated Family Violence Partnership (SMIFVP) has distributed 60,000 coffees cups with anti-violence slogans printed on them as part of the global commemoration of the 16 Days of activism Against Gender Violence.
- Alex McKinnon has called on Australians to abandon the ‘white saviour’ mentality and adopt an intersectional approach to confronting issues of violence against women of colour and women with diverse cultural backgrounds.
- In Canberra, police records had revealed 1,000 charges of domestic violence in the past year, averaging eight to twelve incidents daily, including threats to kill, serious violent assault, attempted murder and murder.
- The inaugural Technology Safety Summit has been hosted by WESNET in Sydney this week. Speakers included Safety Net Australia Director Karen Bentley, AWAVA/WESNET Chair Julie Oberin, and experts from the US-based National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). Those on Twitter can review the proceedings via #TechSummitAU.
- In a major step forward for the Safety First in Family Law campaign, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced the ALP’s support for ending cross-examination of victims by their abusers in family court cases, proposing that judges be allowed to consider, when domestic violence is alleged, whether any vulnerable witness should be protected during proceedings.
- UN experts have urged Switzerland to develop a comprehensive national gender strategy after it has reported on the barriers that have impeded the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), including deep-rooted patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes that are still widespread in Swiss society.
- In Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have officially launched the National Action Plan to address Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV), a multi sectoral approach engaging nine key ministries to end violence.
- In Papua New Guinea, UN Women has launched special bus services transporting women and children only, in response to the high rate of sexual assault of Papua New Guinean women in bus stations and on public transport. This initiative has allowed some women and young girls to have access to work and schools, forms of participation which are hampered by the prevalence of sexual assaults in public.
- Child marriage and violence has increased by 42 per cent in Northern Ghana. Plan International Ghana has launched the “Girls Advocacy Alliance”, a five year strategic project that seeks to address the cultural and religious causes of violence.
- In Islamabad, concerned citizens have gathered at Al Babar Centre to demand government action to eradicate dowry and bride-price, which is a socially and culturally accepted form of gender based violence.
- In Melbourne, The Global Women’s Project will hold “Trailblazing Women of Herstory, a fund raising feminist art extravaganza”. The events will start on the 25th of November with a Gala launch and will culminate on the 10th of December with performances of women in “Mother Tougue”. All events will be held at Neospace, 7 Campbell Street Collingwood, VIC 3066. For more information.
- ANROWS and the Tasmanian government invite everyone to the launch of ‘ASPIRE’, a Horizons Report on promoting community-led responses to violence against immigrant and refugee women in metropolitan and regional Australia. The launch will be held on 8 of December at the Henry Jones Art Hotel, 25 Hunter Street, Hobart. This event is free. Register here.
- ANROWS and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) will hold a free webinar on the Examination of the Burden of Disease of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women. The webinar which will be held on 30 November from 12:30 to 2:00pm (AEDT). To register, please email [email protected] and the login instructions will be sent to you.
- The National Women’s Alliances, including AWAVA, are preparing our submission to the Australian Government on its priorities for the next session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) and we would love to hear from you. In 2017, the CSW’s priority theme is women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work. We have tonnes of information about this theme, but we need to focus our submission down to key areas… and we need your help! Please fill in our brief survey here.
- The UN Women National Committee Australia invites everyone to the celebration of the 2017 International Women’s Day events in March happening simultaneously in 6 major cities around the country. For more information click here.
- 1800RESPECT will be holding a webinar on “Improving Cultural Understanding and Engagement with people from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities” on 1 December 2016, 1pm AEDT. The presenter will be Craig Rigney of Kornar Winmil Yunti (KWY). Register here.
- Law Trobe Law School will be holding “Online/Offline: Sexual violence, activism, and justice”, a free seminar, on 25 November, from 4 to 6pm at the La Trobe University Franklin Streets Campus, Melbourne. Register here.
- The National Rural Women’s Coalition is launching “Brave Danny” a picture book for children on 24 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].
- 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.
Artwork on the Get Involved! logo by Sharon Rose Dadang
Poster of Trailblazing Women of Herstory by The Global Women’s Project
Logos from Nation Women Alliances, ANROWS and Westnet