Individuals and organisations in Maroondah are encouraged to join in a global campaign to help put a stop to violence against women.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign starts on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women on November 25 and culminates in Human Rights Day on December 10.
In recognition of the 16 Days of Activism, Maroondah City Council has placed seven billboards around the municipality to promote messages about equality and respect and preventing violence against women.
Maroondah Deputy Mayor Marijke Graham said acknowledging the link between gender equality and violence against women was an important first step in transforming communities and workplaces to make women feel valued and safe.
“Preventing violence against women is about building systems, cultures, organisations and communities that are safe and inclusive of women and that promote equal and respectful relationships between men and women,” Cr Graham said.
“One of the ways in which you can do this is to join the 16 Days of Activism, a global movement that encourages communities to take responsibility for violence against women,” she said.
During the 16 Days, people from around the world will use the campaign to raise awareness about the prevalence and devastating impact of violence against women, to celebrate victories gained, to challenge the structures that enable violence against women to occur, and to demand that violence against women be recognised as an abuse of human rights.
The campaign is being supported by the Eastern Metropolitan Region, as part of the Together for Equality & Respect Strategy – Preventing Violence Against Women in Melbourne’s East 2017-2021.
The strategy, led by Women’s Health East, is a partnership between Eastern Metropolitan Councils, community health services and others that work to integrate primary prevention efforts to end violence against women.
This year for the 16 Days of Activism, Women’s Health East launched the #TotesGE Totally for Gender Equality campaign, with tote bags full of gender equality goodies and resources for organisations and people in the Eastern Metropolitan Regions to support the campaign.
“In support of the 16 Days of Activism, Council is supporting the Women’s Health East campaign to advocate for gender equity and encourage people to think about why gender equality is important to them,” Cr Graham said.
“Council is a strong advocate for gender equity and ending violence against women and it’s through campaigns like this that provide another important outlet for raising awareness about preventing and responding to violence in our society,” she added.
According to VicHealth, violence in the home is the biggest contributor to death, disability and health problems for Victorian women aged 15 to 45.
It’s estimated family violence and sexual assault perpetrated against women costs the nation $13.6 billion each year.
“While anyone can be a victim of family violence or sexual assault, it is predominantly committed by men against women, children and those most vulnerable people in our community,” Cr Graham said.
“Violence perpetrated against women has devastating effects on the long-term physical and mental health of the individual, with serious ramifications for the wellbeing of families,” she said.
Gender equality initiatives
In our workplace, sporting clubs, early learning and other environments, Council is working with community members to promote the importance of gender equality through initiatives, including:
- A formal commitment to support the Women’s Health East Regional Together for Equality and Respect Strategy
- Beyond Sparkles and Superheroes & Stories Beyond Stereotypes gender equality booklist
- See Past the Stereotypes series
- One Million Stars to End Violence project, where more than 5000 community members and 50 community groups and schools engaged in the project.
- Development of Council’s Gender Equity Policy 2018
- Our Codes Our Clubs, promoting gender equality in sporting clubs to help change the story of violence against women.
- Gender equity training for employee and early childhood educators
How to get involved
- Download a Take Action Toolkit for the 16 days
- There are a number of hashtags that can be used to show your support: #16days (support the local 16 Days of Activism campaign); #TotesGE, #GenerationEquality and #16DaysCampaign.
- Start conversations about violence against women in your networks and with family and friends.