Monday, 7th March 2016 at 9:00 am
Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has called for greater gender equality in Australian workplaces.
Speaking at the Fundraising Institute Australia conference in Melbourne on Friday, Batty said Australia was lagging behind other countries when it came to the equal treatment of men and women in corporate environments.
“There’s a lot of amazing work happening but we are way behind other countries,” Batty said
“We now recognise, with the leading organisations in Australia, that this is a workplace issue.
“If you have one in three of your staff likely to be affected by violence how do you support that victim, how do you respond to it, how do you change culture within your organisation that discloses that power imbalance?”
The former of Australian of the Year said inequality was the driving force behind domestic violence.
“[The] root cause of violence is not caused by drug and alcohol abuse, it is not caused by mental illness, it is not a poverty issue,” she said.
“There are certainly catalysts and drivers, but the root cause is gender inequality. Once we really understand how important it is to have more improved gender balance within our communities, we will see a reduction in violence.”
Asked how the community could push the issue of pay disparity between men and women with the Federal Government, Batty said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull needed to be reminded of his own words.
“I think it starts with reminding the Prime Minister of a quote that he made that I think has great power. I say it frequently… ‘not all disrespect of women ends in violence, but all violence begins with disrespect’,” she said.
“When I heard the Prime Minister talk and say that it was a huge moment where I felt that we now are getting somewhere with this acknowledgment that we need to be addressing this issue.”
“I think it’s about continuing to point the finger at government, who are way behind the corporate workplace, and saying ‘you’ve got to step up too, you can’t have double standards’.
“There is huge cultural change that [needs to take place] in all areas of our society, and no less than in our government itself.”