Today is a really exciting day for gender equality and for our team at FlexCareers! Today we can celebrate the official launch of Victoria’s first peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women, Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC). Being in the business of advocating for and collaborating with progressive employers to advance a shared vision of gender equality, this is music to FlexCareers ears.
Launched by the Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Natalie Hutchin, Gender Equity Victoria builds on the 24-year history of the Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV), expanding its membership to include a rapidly growing gender equality and prevention of violence against women sector, and opening its doors to more health organisations across Victoria.
This is a tremendous feat in that we know how relevant and endemic violence against women is in Australia. Australia has a disturbingly high rate of violence against women. In recent times, policy and public discussions on violence against women in Australia have had a strong focus on family and domestic violence, in particular, intimate partner violence. However, violence against women can take many forms, including family and domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, violence in residential settings and online violence and harassment.
According to White Ribbon Australia, one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them and one in five women experience sexual harassment in the workplace.
Not only does violence against women take a toll physical health, it also takes a toll on mental health. A 2016 study by Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (ANROWS) found that intimate partner violence accounted for 5.1% of the disease burden amongst women aged 18 to 44 years — more than other any other risk factor. 12 Research has also demonstrated that victims/survivors often experience enduring mental health problems as a result of such violence.
- Advance gender equity
- Promote women’s sexual and reproductive health
- Prevent violence against women
- Build an influential and sustainable peak body.