Joining Forces to Prevent Violence Against Women

The event concentrated on how governments and NGOs can cooperate in preventing violence against women. Panelists from Australia shared their own perspectives on how to galvanize change and incorporate youth.

Ms. Welgraven spoke of ways in which NATSIWA has helped overcome indigenous family violence. To change violence, it is important to change the minds of youth. In indigenous communities, women are 35 times more likely to be hospitalized because of family violence or related assaults. Most often, victims are ashamed and remain silent. Ms. Welgraven called for urgent action and the inclusion of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in decisions. There must be a rise in indigenous-specific programs and services with a concomitant increase in public funding.

Ms. Gissane, spoke of the new Young Women’s Advisory Group (YWAG). The group consists of 10 young women working to promote comprehensive sexuality and respectful relationships education in the national curricula of Australia. The initiative works to connect young ladies to the rest of the women movement and thus foster intergenerational partnerships. Through the launching of a survey, “Let’s Talk: Young Women’s Views on Sex Education,” YWAG has gathered responses from 1000 young women. The results demonstrated that young women want more sex education and believe that their current curricula are limited and outdated.

Both Ms. Gleeson and Ms. Patty highlighted the importance of galvanizing change through the education of respectful relationships in schools. The young generation of Australia does believe in equality, but at the overt level. Due to structural barriers, youth struggle to connect with manifestations of violence against women. It is up to schools, which are essential cultural points in a child’s education, to educate on respectful relationships. Schools must also be safe platforms for kids facing violence to speak up and be heard.

Meeting: “Galvanizing Change: Engaging Young People to Create a Future Free from Violence.”

Date/Location: Thursday, March 17, 2016; 10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; Consulate Room, the Westin Grand Central

Speakers: Ms. Clara Gleeson, Our Watch and YWCA, Australia; Ms. Vicky Welgraven, National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, Australia; Ms. Louise McSorley, Office for Women, Australia; Ms. Rosie Batty, Luke Batty Foundation; Ms. Hannah Gissane, Equality, Rights, Alliance, Australia

Written By: WIT Representative Emilie Broek

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Flickr

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