Individuals and organisations in Maroondah are encouraged to join in a global campaign to help put an end to violence against women.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign – which started on November 25, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and culminates in Human Rights Day on December 10 – takes place this year against the backdrop of an unprecedented global outcry.
Millions have rallied behind the hashtag #MeToo and other campaigns, exposing the sheer magnitude of sexual harassment and other forms of violence that women everywhere suffer, every day.
Mayor of Maroondah Councillor Rob Steane said acknowledging the link between gender equality and violence against women was an important first step in transforming communities and workplaces to make women feel valued and safe.
“One of the ways in which you can do this is to support the 16 Days of Activism campaign, a global movement that encourages communities to take responsibility for violence against women,” Cr Steane said.
“For far too long, impunity, silence and stigma has seen violence against women to escalate, with latest statistics showing that one in three women worldwide have experienced gender-based violence,” he said.
During the 16 Days of Activism, people from around the world will use the campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence and devastating impact of violence against women, to celebrate victories gained, to challenge the structures that enable violence against women to occur, and to demand that violence against women be recognised as an abuse of human rights.
At a local level, the campaign is being supported by the Eastern Metropolitan Region, as part of the Together for Equality & Respect Strategy – Preventing Violence Against Women in Melbourne’s East 2017-2021
The strategy, led by Women’s Health East, is a partnership between Eastern Metropolitan Councils, community health services and others that work to integrate primary prevention efforts to end violence against women.
Every day for the 16 days, Women’s Health East are sharing personal stories from survivors and messaging from partner organisations across its social media platforms.
“Council is supporting the Women’s Health East campaign to advocate for gender equity and encourage people to think about why gender equality is important to them,” Cr Steane said.
“Preventing violence against women is about building systems, cultures, organisations and communities that are safe and inclusive of women and promote equal and respectful relationships between men and women,” he said.
Council is also supporting the campaign by promoting key messages on road side boards and our social media channels from the #Together4GE campaign in support of gender equity.
“Council is a strong advocate for gender equity and ending violence against women. Campaigns like this provide an important outlet for raising awareness about preventing and responding to violence against women in our society,” Cr Steane added.
According to VicHealth, violence in the home is the biggest contributor to death, disability and health problems for Victorian women aged 15 to 45.
“While anyone can be a victim of family violence or sexual assault, it is predominantly committed by men against women, children and those most vulnerable people in our community,” Cr Steane said.
More than 60 women have been killed by male perpetrators in Australia this year by their current or former partner, or a man otherwise known to them.
“Violence perpetrated against women has devastating effects on the long-term physical and mental health of the individual, with serious ramifications for the wellbeing of families,” he said.
Maroondah City Council is committed to preventing violence against women by focusing on gender equality as a means to addressing violence before it occurs. International research shows that violence against women is more likely to occur where gender inequality is ingrained in social and cultural norms, structures and practices. In our workplace, sporting clubs, early learning and other environments,Gender equality initiatives
Council is working with community members to promote the importance of gender equality through initiatives, including:A formal commitment to support the Women’s Health East Regional Together for Equality and Respect Strategy Membership of the MAV Preventing Violence Against Women Network. Making a submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Running gender equity training for employee and childhood educators. Our Codes Our Clubs, promoting gender equality in sporting clubs to help change the story of violence against women. In 2016, the Maroondah community wove 30,000 stars as part of the One Million Stars to End Violence project. More than 5000 community members and 50 community groups and schools were engaged in the project. Beyond Sparkles and Superheroes gender equality booklist celebrating children’s individuality. How to get involved Download a Take Action Toolkit for the 16 days. Look at the Doing Nothing Does Harm campaign from Our Watch which aims to motivate people to speak up or show support when they see or hear disrespect towards women. Check out the Australian Human Rights Commission Face the Facts to see how Australia shapes up when compared to the rest of the world. Visit Respect Victoria - a new organisation dedicated to preventing all forms of family violence. Learn about violence against women using the UN Women infographic. Start conversations about how gender equality is linked to violence against women in your networks and with family and friends.