On this International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we at CourtHeath want to highlight how Respect Victoria’s Respect Is Campaign, the Gender Equality Act 2020 and participation in the #16daysofactivism can help Orange the World! and contribute to a future free of violence against women and girls.
In 2021, the United Nations is marking the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence from 25 November to 10 December 2021 (Human Rights Day), with the global theme outlined by the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE campaign: Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!
“Orange is our colour to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls,” says the UN and UN Women. “Be part of the orange movement!”
As reported by the UN, almost one in three women have been abused in their lifetime, and in times of crisis, gendered-violence escalates as we have seen during the Covid-19 pandemic, recent humanitarian emergencies, conflicts and climate disasters. In a new UN Women report, data based from 13 countries since the pandemic showed two in three women reported they or a woman they knew experienced some form of violence, which significantly increased the risk of food insecurity. The report also showed that only one in 10 women believed victims would go to the police for help.
For clarity, the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, states violence against women is “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.
The link between gender inequality and gendered violence
Research shows gender inequality is one of the primary drivers of gender-based violence. According to Respect Victoria, an organisation dedicated to the prevention of all forms of family violence and violence towards women, in Australia:
- 1 in 4 women have experienced violence by an intimate partner since the age of 15
- Almost 2 in 5 women with disabilities have experienced violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member
- 1 in 3 LGBTIQ+ people have experienced violence from a partner, ex-partner or family member
- 1 in 3 migrant and refugee women living in Australia have experienced family violence
- 95% of all victims of violence, regardless of gender, experience violence from a male perpetrator.
Gender Equality Act 2020
In Victoria, the Gender Equality Act 2020 commenced on 31 March 2021 with the aim to improve workplace gender equality in the Victorian public sector, universities and local councils.
According to the Commission for Gender Equality in the Public Sector, the Act promotes gender equality by:
- Requiring the Victorian public sector, local councils and universities to take positive action towards achieving workplace gender equality.
- Requiring these organisations to consider and promote gender equality in their policies, programs and services.
- Establishing the Public Sector Gender Equality Commissioner to provide education, support implementation and enforce compliance.
Objectives of the Act include:
- promote, encourage and facilitate the achievement of gender equality and improvement in the status of women
- support the identification and elimination of systemic causes of gender inequality in policy, programs and delivery of services in workplaces and communities
- recognise that gender inequality may be compounded by other forms of disadvantage or discrimination that a person may experience on the basis of Aboriginality, age, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, race, religion, sexual orientation and other attributes
- redress disadvantage, address stigma, stereotyping, prejudice and violence, and accommodate persons of different genders by way of structural change
- enhance economic and social participation by persons of different genders
- further promote the right to equality set out in the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
Join the 16 days of activism
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual, international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. The initiative calls for “global actions to increase awareness, galvanise advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.”
There are many ways you can be involved. You can:
- join the online International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women pre-recorded address by Australian of the Year, Grace Tame, 25 November, 10-11am (AEDT).
- participate in Respect Victoria’s 16 Days of Activism: Respect Is Campaign
- undertake digital initiatives by using the official materials, the Orange the World logo, and the hashtags: #GenerationEquality, #orangetheworld, #16days and #spreadtheword
- watch the UN official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Remember, Orange is our colour to represent a brighter future free of violence against women and girls, says the UN and UN Women. Be part of the orange movement!
The Fair Work Ombudsman: Employer Guide to Family and Domestic Violence provides a wealth of information to employers, including how to create a workplace response to family and domestic violence.
Our Watch: Structural change is needed to stamp out gender inequality: Our Watch updates its national framework to prevent violence against women.
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A participant in the UN Global Compact, CourtHeath seeks to raise awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the Global Compact with business and government organisations in Victoria.
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Image: UN Women
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