Call to Fund Gender Equality Measures
7 April 2016 at 10:10 am
The Women’s Information and Referral Exchange has called on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to fund gender equality measures as part of the government’s wider response to preventing family violence.
CEO of WIRE Rachael Bausor has written to Premier Daniel Andrews urging him to urgently fund gender equality measures in the 2016/17 and ongoing budgets, as part of the Victorian Government’s response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Family Violence.
WIRE is a statewide women’s service that offers confidential support, information, referrals and programs to over 12,000 women in Victoria every year.
“Family Violence is a gendered crime. Addressing Family Violence without addressing gender inequality will not work,” Bausor said in the letter.
“The commission’s findings are exemplary – in their scope, their empathy and understanding, and the active solutions proposed.
“However, these recommendations are worthless if they are not accompanied by appropriate funding, and if the focus on the symptom of men’s violence against women obscures the root causes: gender inequality and sexism.”
The gender equality measures proposed in Bausor’s letter included workplace programs to address inequality and promote respect, gendered education programs on equality and respect to be made available to the community, including sporting organisations, faith based groups and community groups, community and workplace women’s leadership programs and women’s financial capability and financial literacy programs.
Bausor said WIRE welcomed the Royal Commission’s recommendation that the Family Violence Action Plan primary prevention strategy “guide and be guided by” the Victorian Government’s Gender Equality Strategy, and recommendations around best-practice workplace programs.
But she said action was needed now, not in a year’s time.
“Family violence is a gendered crime and built on a foundation of disrespect. Already this year 17 women have been murdered – victims of men’s violence against women. Addressing family violence without addressing gender inequality will not work,” she said.
“Gender inequality is the breeding ground for men’s violence against women – it is the fertile soil which allows disrespect and sexism to grow into violence, assault, and murder. Delay costs lives.”
In the latest episode of Pro Bono Australia’s Not for Podcast, Not for Profit leaders and policy experts who were in the official report launch “lockup” share their insights about how the Royal Commission’s recommendations are likely to play out.