International Women’s Day: Respect

To mark International Women’s Day, on March 8, Andrew Leigh, Gai Brodtmann and Kate Lundy today said that every woman has a right to live a life free from violence, and that reducing violence is everyone’s responsibility.

Violence against women in all its forms – physical, sexual or psychological – is unacceptable.

The United Nations theme for International Women’s Day this year is a promise: time for action to end violence against women.

Women have made significant advancements in society since the first International Women’s Day in 1911. We should take the time to remember our successes for women, particularly our advancement in women’s economic independence.

It’s also appropriate to take the time to reflect on what we still have to achieve to prevent violence against women. In Australia, one in three women will have experienced physical violence, and one in five will have experienced sexual violence, from the time they were 15.

The Australian Government is working in the community to prevent violence from happening in the first place. We know that building respect between young men and young women is the best way to prevent violence occurring.

The Line is an online campaign using social media to promote respectful relationships to people aged 12-20 and influence behaviour.

Young people in Canberra should visit or to get involved in the conversation about what’s right, and what crosses the line.

There are also resources for parents to talk to their children about respectful relationships.

The Australian Government also funds 1800RESPECT, the national domestic and family and sexual violence counselling hotline. Telephone counselling is available at 1800 737 732 and online counseling is available

These initiatives add to the long list or reforms initiated by the Labor Government to address women’s inequality in Australia. A factsheet is attached outlining some of these reforms.

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