16 Days of Activism - Day 15

Suffer the little children

Children are often present when family violence occurs. They may witness violence against their loved one, hear it in another room or have to run from abuse. They may have to be careful around an abuser to avoid setting them off or they may be victimised for supporting their loved one.

In the Southern Melbourne PCP catchment, a child was present in 22 - 29% of reported family violence incidences in 2013/2014 according to Victoria Police Family Incident Reports.

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16 Days of Activism - Day 14

Increased risk

While family violence can affect anyone in our community, some women are more vulnerable than others. Indigenous women, women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, pregnant women, older women and women with disabilities are all more vulnerable.

In the City of Kingston this means that an estimated 14,759 women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, 17, 064 older women and 3, 840 women with disabilities are at increased risk.

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16 Days of Activism - Day 13

Youth in Action

The theme today is ‘Youth in Action’. So, let’s talk about young people. We know that not only do young women aged 18-24 experience significantly higher rates of physical and sexual violence than older women; but we also know that young people have a vital role to play in leading efforts to end violence against women and girls.

Australia has approximately 3.75 million young people aged between 12 – 24 years and many are passionately concerned about not only their own future, but the direction that we as a society are heading in. Adolescence is a great time to open the conversation and to start questioning outdated gender stereotypes and behaviours that perpetuate violence and discrimination.

So how can young people help to end violence against women and girls?

 

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16 Days of Activism - Day 12

The Montreal Massacre

Today is the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre which occurred in1989. On the 6th December a man murdered 14 women and injured 9 others along with 4 men in the Engineering Building of Montreal’s School of Engineering. His attack was motivated by anger towards feminists. The murdered women came to represent the injustices of systemic violence against women and became an example of how gender stereotyping can lead to violence against women.

Women are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields in education and in employment. Research shows that in Australia, 18.6 per cent of boys undertook STEM subjects in their final year of secondary school compared with 13.8 per cent of girls. Only 28 per cent of employed STEM-qualified Australian workforce aged 15 years and over were female in 2011 compared to 55 per cent for all fields in the tertiary qualified population. This figure stood at 14 and 86 per cent for females and males respectively in Engineering and related technologies, and 25 and 75 per cent for females and males in Information technology.

 

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16 Days of Activism - Day 11

Women and the media

The mass media – television, internet, radio, newspapers, magazines and film – is part of our everyday life. It is a powerful tool that provides us with information and entertainment. It reflects our society and it influences the way we think. The demonstrated gender inequality in the media has significant consequences.

The current widespread access to media’s limited representations of gender can have undesirable effects. When people are repeatedly shown images of women as victims, sexualised, or in domestic roles, they are more likely to accept these images as normal. This can affect both men’s and women’s ideas about which careers women might be good at, how important it is for women to be sexually attractive, and whether women should be in positions of authority.

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16 Days of Activism - Day 10

Mechanisms for the Advancement of Women

According to UN Women a gendered approach must be integrated into all legislation, public policies, programs and projects if we are to truly achieve gender equality and prevent violence against women. We need to ensure that a diversity of women are represented at all levels of government; as well as holding key managerial positions in workplaces and civil society organisations. 

In the City of Bayside 48.5% of women are employed as Managers or Professionals compared to 58.7% of men while in Stonnington the figures are slightly better with 54.3% of women employed as Managers or Professionals compared to 60.3% of men.

So, what can we do to address this?

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