Taking Action

Taking Action to Challenge Sexism, Inequality and Violence Against Women. Speech given at UN Young Women forum, Melbourne, 22nd October, 2012.

What an interesting time it has been for opening up discussions about violence, inequality and sexism against women in Australia. Debates and commentary in the media, in parliament, in public opinion and out on the streets, have really raised the stakes – as well as the questions: Is Australia Sexist? Is gender inequality still a problem in modern Australia? And, importantly, what can we do about it?

Some of the most high profile and recent examples of sexism, gender inequality and violence against women barely need mentioning.

Last month, radio presenter Alan Jones won the Gold Ernie – an award dedicated to Australia’s most sexist comments – for saying of several female leaders that “women are destroying the joint”.

Two weeks ago, Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered a speech naming sexism in Australian politics that has sparked debate and made the news worldwide.

And how can I not mention the thousands who marched in honour of Jill Meagher – and against violence against women – in September, and those who marched again on Saturday for Reclaim the Night.

Together these, and other, high profile examples tell us something important about sexism, gender inequality and violence against women in this country.

These examples tell us that sexism, gender inequality and violence against women are still big social issues – and that a lot of Australians want to live in a society where they do not exist.

But these are just some examples and they are not the whole picture; they tell just one part of the story. Read the full speech here

Forced: Knowing Violence, Taking Action

In support of the UN Women Australia Spring Campaign: Don’t be a Bystander: Say NO to Violence against Women, Young UN Women Australia – Melbourne Committee invites you to a panel discussion on alternative forms of violence and the importance of supportive community action. The forum will be held on October 22nd, 6pm, at the Bella Union Hall in Melbourne. Speakers are Anastasia Powell, Roshan Bhandary and Kelsey Hegarty.

The Forced: Knowing Violence, Taking Action forum will focus on non-physical violence, such as emotional abuse, financial abuse and social isolation. It will explore the different types of force and emotional violence that manifest in relationships. Importantly, it will involve practical discussion of what individuals can do to support women experiencing emotional abuse. We hope by the end of the night you will have the tools to make a difference in the lives of women, and men.

Find out more…