YWCA Canberra is seizing a global opportunity to call on governments to step up their commitment to end violence against women. The 16 Days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence is a global campaign, launched 25th November 2015. YWCA Canberra Executive Director Frances Crimmins said it provided a platform to continue to call on governments to meet the diverse needs of women experiencing violence.
“This year, we’ve seen governments commit to more action on this issue. We welcome those initiatives, but it won’t be enough until gendered violence is eliminated.
“Even one woman dying at the hands of an intimate partner or former partner is too many. This simply should not happen,” Ms Crimmins said.
In partnership with Doris Women’s Refuge, Toora Women Inc. and Beryl Women’s Refuge, YWCA Canberra has five key asks for government during the 16 Days:
- Adequate resourcing to provide access to respectful relationships education for all young people in Australia.
- Better resourcing for front-line services
- Access to gender-aware crisis and other housing support for women escaping domestic violence
- Remove means-testing for community legal centres to provide support to women fleeing domestic violence.
- Responsive to the needs of diverse/marginalised groups.
“These five asks recognise that women come from diverse situations and circumstances, and services need to be funded to cater for all women. In addition, we need to embed respectful relationships education into our schools, to teach children about gender equality,” Ms Crimmins said.
YWCA Canberra will be organising a series of events during the 16 Days. These will include:
- Wednesday 2 December - a screening of the full feature documentary, Call Me Dad, followed by a panel discussion with local Canberra experts in domestic violence prevention
- A social media campaign using #16Days
- Friday 11 December – a rally at Parliament House to commemorate the women who have lost their lives as a result of violence in Australia this year.
During this 16 Days, YWCA Canberra is calling on all Canberrans to play their part in bringing about a future free of gendered violence.
“We know that ending gender inequality will eliminate violence against women, but it needs a whole-of-community approach and support from both men and women. The necessary first step is opening the door for women to advocate, educate and be heard,” Ms Crimmins said.
YWCA Canberra is a feminist, not-for-profit community organisation that has been providing community services and representing women’s issues in the Canberra community since its establishment in 1929. YWCA Canberra employs more than 300 staff across the ACT, and delivers 30 quality programs in children’s services, community development, housing, youth services, women’s leadership, advocacy, and training. For more information visit: www.ywca-canberra.org.au