September 30, 2020
For this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (November 25 to December 10), Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) is advocating for communities to move beyond awareness raising, and towards tangible action, weaving women’s rights and gender equality into our everyday behaviour, practice and the economic, cultural and social fabric of our communities.
Our campaign this year is designed to encourage as much community participation and ownership of this transformative work across the Goulburn Valley and north-east Victoria region as possible.
This year we will be:
- Collating, distributing and promoting a region-wide calendar of 16 Days of Activism events, as organised and hosted by councils, community groups, organisations and businesses (add your event here);
- Embarking upon a social media and print media advocacy campaign, focusing on seven spheres of change towards gender equality in the world of work, and what local government, workplaces and individuals can do to affect change;
- Developing a presentation for use by organisations, councils and workplaces to increase staff understanding of gender equity principles, how they relate to the workplace and what they look like in action (contact us to access this free resource); and
- Hosting an online panel discussion in collaboration with The Wheeler Centre on November 25 – Women at the Edge: Economics and Beyond – which will explore gender equality in the local economic space.
From awareness to accountability
We’re following the lead of the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), which initiated the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign in 1991. This year, the CWGL is moving beyond raising awareness of gender-based violence to demanding accountability for violence against women and the elimination of gendered discrimination.
Our 16 Days campaign for 2020 is also inspired by the work of the United Nations Working Group on Discrimination Against Girls and Women and the group’s Women’s human rights in the changing world of work report. Our campaign this year will look at what the changes necessary for achieving our vision of gender equality look like in our localised context and how local government, communities, workplaces and individuals can affect real, meaningful and lasting change.
Why this shift of focus?
We think the time is right for such a shift in focus – from awareness to accountability – for several reasons. The fallout from COVID-19 has intensified rates of violence against women in communities across Australia, at the same time as increasing women’s unpaid care and domestic workloads and putting at risk women’s livelihoods and economic security. The pandemic has also rolled back decades’ worth of gains in gender equality.
However, the pandemic recovery presents an opportunity to transform our current economic model and its cultural and social underpinnings into one that has women’s human rights and gender equality at its core. And transformation begins at home and work, with every one of us.
With the Victorian Gender Equality Act ready for implementation in early 2021, we know that government agencies and the public service are primed for integrating strong gender equity principles in their policies and procedures. It’s time for businesses, communities and individuals to make the same commitment to eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and realising the vision for gender equal communities and workplaces. And a gender equal world.
Get involved with the WHGNE campaign
You can get involved, wherever in the Goulburn Valley or north-east Victoria you may be.
- Organise your own 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence event, and let us know about it so we can add it to the regional calendar.
- Share your story with us of gender equality in your workplace or organisation so we can promote your good work during the 16 Days campaign.
- Contact us about using our (free) 16 Days resource for your workplace, to start the conversation around weaving women’s rights and gender equality into the everyday life of your team, staff and work culture.
And stay tuned to our social media channels to spread the gender equality in action message among your own networks.