The Global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence recently finished in early December. Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) remains the most prevalent human rights violation worldwide. It is estimated that over one in three women are affected, a statistic that has remained the same over the last decade. This initiative to highlight VAWG began in 1991, arising from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute. The campaign, which kicks off on November 25th and ends on December 10th annually, links the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and International Human Rights Day. In doing so, it reinforces the fact that gendered violence is a human rights issue.
In 2022, the Campaign continued the previous year’s theme of Ending Femicide, by shining a light on groups of women who are made most vulnerable. In the words of the Campaign, ‘femicide is the intentional killing of women and/or girls because of their sex and/or gender’. With campaigns like this bringing attention to the extreme effects of violence against women, it can be easy to dismiss its smaller scale causes and effects. This is why it’s important to bring attention to things such as the pyramid of rape culture, which highlight the way that sexist beliefs and actions escalate to things like femicide.
And this is where what we do in the workplace comes in. Not only can we actively challenge gendered stereotypes which speaks to the Normalisation piece of the pyramid, but we can support women and gender diverse people who experience violence.
All employees in the Fair Work system are now entitled to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave, but the implementation of this within our workplaces is important to get right. Stacey Nelan spoke to me recently on Linkedin Live about this very issue, providing excellent tips for workplaces – it’s a must watch.
On a personal scale, education is the key so that you are then in a position to not only prevent violence yourself but also help others do the same. Exploring documentaries and resources such as the website Everyday Feminism, can be an excellent way to learn more. In Australia, organisations such as Victoria’s Safe + Equal offer various training programs for individuals and organisations to learn about preventing violence against women. The United Nations’ theme for 2022 was ‘UNiTE! Activism to end violence against women and girls’. Advocating for your communities, such as workplaces, friendship groups, and families to engage in conversation and training means you can better support one another to make changes.
21 September 2022
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01 February 2022