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 Adolescence is a great time to open the conversation and to start questioning outdated gender stereotypes and behaviours that perpetuate violence and discrimination.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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16 Days of Activism - Day 9

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Women and girls with disabilities are twice as likely to experience violence throughout their lives in comparison to women and girls without disabilities. More specifically, over one third of women with disabilities will experience some form of intimate partner violence throughout their lifetimes.

Across the 5 local government areas of the SMPCP catchment, women with disabilities make up an average of 3.84% of the population. That's over 12,500 women at increased risk on our watch.


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16 Days of Activism - Day 8

What does it cost?

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the average man working full time earns 18.2% or $283.20 more than the average full time working woman. Between November 2013 and May 2014, men’s salaries increased an average of $24.90 per week and women’s increased by only $7.09. The figures show us, that overall, women earn significantly less than men. This has significant impact on their financial security over their lifetimes.

A new joint publication by VicHealth, OurWatch and PwC, A high price to pay: the economic case for preventing violence against women shows that violence against women and their children is costing Australia $21.6 billion each year.

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