“The Prime Minister is on the right track defending the fundamental right of every woman and child to live free from violence and abuse. Violence against women and children is not tolerated in Australia,” said Libby Davies, CEO of White Ribbon, in response to the Turnbull Government’s announcement that future citizen tests will focus heavily on respect for women and children, with possible questions about child marriage, female genital mutilation and domestic violence.
“All Australian citizens are obliged, legally, ethically and morally, to behave in a manner that is respectable at all times.
“We aim to build a nation that allows for each and every woman and child to live in safety, free from all forms of men’s abuse.
“We need to engage men in this issue and make women’s safety a man’s priority.
“In 2013-14 6,500 women and girls were hospitalised in Australia due to assault from a partner or spouse. Even one hospitalisation is too many.
“Most men recognise this and more are speaking out and acting to stop domestic and family violence across our diverse community.
“We place particular importance on educating men and having men speak with other men about violence against women and children.
“It is up to all men, together with women, to stand up, speak out and act to build a society based on respect, fairness and equality.”
CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies said, “This is the sad daily reality of domestic violence in Australia”.
“These figures are alarming and inexcusable; however not surprising.
“This report paints a disturbing picture for women between 20 and 34 years of age. Each year across Australia, 2,500 women in this age bracket experience physical violence to the level where they are being hospitalised.
These figures are likely to be a significant underestimate of women’s experiences of violence. Not all women will disclose their relationship to the perpetrator on presentation to hospital, and even more women will not go to hospital at all. Physical violence resulting in injury is just one form of violence and abuse that women experience. Verbal, social and financial abuse also causes significant harm to Australian women.
The new information we have today is a reminder of how far we have to go in ending men’s violence against women. It is critical men who chose to use violence are held accountable. All men can and must take responsibility for their role by being part of the solution alongside the women who are impacted.
“Most men recognise that any form of abuse or violence against their partner or spouse is unacceptable, and we need these men to stand up, speak out and act to build a society where these statistics are no longer our reality.”
 Figures are based on the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report: Domestic violence leading cause of hospitalised assault among girls and women and ABS 31010DO002_201603 Australian Demographic Statistics, Mar 2016
White Ribbon’s statement in response to the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia video
CEO of White Ribbon Australia, Libby Davies, said in response to the Women of Hizb ut-Tahrir Australia that violence in any relationship is unacceptable.
“This video is abhorrent, it is not in keeping with the fundamental right of every woman to live free from violence and abuse.”
“Respectful relationships regardless of culture are built on mutual respect and it is never okay to use violence in any relationship.”
“The use of violence is about power and control and positions women as objects and not as equals.”
“It is an abuse of their fundamental right to be treated with equality and respect. Most men recognise this and more are speaking out and acting to stop domestic and family violence across our diverse community.”
“It is up to all men, together with women, to stand up, speak out and act to build a society based on respect, fairness and equality”
The gender pay gap is the difference between average weekly full-time equivalent earnings of men and women. It is expressed as a percentage of men’s earnings.
The national gender pay gap is currently 16% (as at February 2017). Over the past twenty years, the national gender pay gap has been between 15% and 19%.
White Ribbon’s position on the gender pay gap data[i]
Gender pay gap data gives us an important insight into the overall position of women in the workforce. Over the past twenty years, the national gender pay gap in Australia has remained between 15% and 19%. This reflects the ongoing influence of work, social and family factors on women’s experience of employment.
Gender stereotypes about the work that men and women ‘should’ do, along with stereotypes about the way men and women should participate in paid employment, have a considerable influence on the gender pay gap. Generally, women and men work in different jobs and in different industries. Historically, female-dominated jobs and industries have attracted lower wages than male-dominated jobs and industries.
The gender pay gap data also highlights the impact of unpaid care responsibilities on the employment experience of women, for example:
More frequent breaks from paid employment, for example to care for children.
Women are more likely than men to work part-time or flexibly.
Lack of women in senior roles, including a lack of part-time or flexible senior roles.
Other contributing factors include differences in the educational attainment and work experience of men and women.
Indirect and direct discrimination against women continues to contribute to the gender pay gap.
Why we need to close the gender pay gap
To realise gender equality, we must close the gender pay gap. This involves breaking down gender stereotypes about the roles of men and women in the workforce and the home and recognising and addressing unconscious bias in the workplace that favours men and limits women.
Narrow gender stereotypes harm both men and women. Examining social definitions of manhood will help remove the pressure on men to, for example, be physically strong, not show emotion and be financially successful. These expectations of men create the conditions for violence, abuse and control of women to occur. This is why closing the gender pay gap is so important to achieving gender equality. It benefits everyone to address gender stereotypes and gender inequality[ii].
A whole-of-community approach is key to achieving gender equality, and workplaces play an important role in providing the conditions that support gender equality at work.
White Ribbon Australia thanks the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for assisting with the formulation of this statement. You can learn more about the gender pay gap on their website: https://www.wgea.gov.au
White Ribbon appoints Primary to help stand up against violence
White Ribbon Australia announced a major new partnership with Primary Communication to support the ongoing delivery of violence prevention campaigns working to educate and reduce the alarming levels of violence towards women in Australia.
Primary Communication will provide an integrated communication framework to raise awareness of White Ribbon and its extensive grassroots prevention programs across workplaces, schools and communities.
The fact that in Australia, over a twelve month period, at least one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence, and one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by someone they know, must be changed. Primary will drive a whole of community campaign approach to build engagement with men, boys, government and corporate leaders and key community stakeholders.
White Ribbon Australia CEO, Libby Davies said:
“We welcome Primary Communication on board to work with us on continuing to focus White Ribbon’s voice, enhancing our advocacy and prevention work and supporting men’s engagement to take action to stop men’s violence against women.”
Primary Communication’s Chief Counsel, Jenny Muir said:
“We are looking forward to working with White Ribbon to progress raising awareness of the devastating issues surrounding violence against women in Australia. Building a future free from violence and abuse requires diligent and creative campaigns across the community. Primary is proud to join White Ribbon at such a crucial period in Australia’s approach to this issue.”
“Primary is experienced in exposing highly sensitive, whole of community issues that need to engage difficult public conversations and secure critical behaviour change.
Primary Communication background in communicating social issues:
White Ribbon Australia is the latest addition to Primary Communication’s social issues portfolio which includes the Butterfly Foundation, ReachOut, Young and Well CRC, Mental Health Australia, Mental Health Commission NSW, and the Australian Human Rights Commission.
They will build on strong advocacy and social issues communication platform in Australia supporting mental and population health, youth, immigration, education, and social housing programs over the past twenty years.