To create an equitable world, we need to economically empower women, so that no one is forced to choose between poverty and violence.
Women’s Health Goulburn North East (WHGNE) is part of the prevention sector, which supports initiatives to address those factors which drive and exacerbate gender-based violence and inequity. Part of this work involves advocating for women to have equitable access to the choices many of us take for granted – choices around safety, wellbeing and financial autonomy. When someone who should know better gives voice to that tired cliche ‘why doesn’t she leave’, the devastating answer is often poverty and housing insecurity.
The factors which inform women’s choices in an economic climate including cost of living pressures, the housing crisis and the economic divide between men and women are complex and myriad, requiring us as a society to consider the problem of gender-based violence through a socio-economic lens. Achieving meaningful policy reform towards women’s economic empowerment requires a collective effort from everyone in our community, including high level decision-makers. Ahead of International Women’s Day next month, let’s take a look at a case study which highlights the UN theme of economic empowerment: