Why we need to talk about domestic violence on International Women's Day
Published on 8th March 2022
Violence against women starts with gender inequality.
For more than 100 years, International Women’s Day (IWD) has marked the progression of women all over the world celebrating their social, economic, cultural and political achievements. IWD has been formally recognised and celebrated by the United Nations on 8th March since 1975, although its inception and origins stem far beyond this.
Whilst there is much to celebrate this IWD, we also need to acknowledge that this day holds a dual purpose - to call for immediate action on accelerating gender equality. If we are to pick one issue to focus on this year, the epidemic of domestic and family violence should be it.
We need to talk about domestic and family violence on International Women’s Day.
As each IWD has passed, we have witnessed significant shifts in attitudes, policies and a closing of the gender pay gap, however, no country or state, including Australia, has achieved gender parity. What this means is that even today, women do not hold the same power, opportunity or value as men. This perpetual imbalance enables the ongoing narrative of domestic and family violence in our society, one that begins and ends with the structural and societal inequalities that women continue to face.
This narrative leads to Australian police being called to a domestic violence event every two minutes and the murder of over 1 woman per week.
The simple truth is that more education, dismantling of structural inequality, policy change and increased funding is needed to help us change this story. When we build equitable communities, workplaces and institutions, we will rewrite the narrative of our society and reduce the incidence of domestic violence. Ending violence against women starts with gender equality. We need to #BreakTheBias.
How can you get involved in IWD?
Frontline workers hold a unique trusted position in our communities and can make a difference to someone that may be experiencing domestic and family violence. You can help break the cycle of violence and gender inequality in Australia by enrolling in a free DV-alert workshop either in your community, online or via eLearning. Find a workshop near you at https://www.dvalert.org.au/enrolment-listing.
- Our watch, Vic health and ANROWS, a shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia, 2017
Imagine a gender equal world.
A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.
A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Together we can forge women's equality.
Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.