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A Future Free From Violence

News Emma Fulu

WORDS: DR EMMA FULU / 25.02.2020

At the Equality Institute, we are determined to keep working towards a future where gender equality is the norm and women and children are safe and thrive in all areas of their lives.

WORDS: DR EMMA FULU / 25.02.2020

A city landscape of a business centre, with tall buildings brigthen up by a sunset in the back
Illustrations of two person walking side by side while one is holding a white poster

Alongside Australia, I'm grieving the horrendous, yet entirely preventable, murders of Hannah Clarke and her three young children that occurred last week in Brisbane at the hands of her former partner.

The sad reality is that this is not new - every week one women is murdered by her current or former partner in Australia. Hannah Clarke was the eighth woman to die this year as a result of violence against women. I deeply sympathise with the family and friends of Hannah and her children. Our thoughts are with them.

# Every week we have the opportunity to prevent another senseless murder and stop condoning violence against women and children.

Now is the time to demand that our leaders and governments fully fund and implement comprehensive policies, programs and services that support and protect victims of violence. Now is the time to hold accountable not only perpetrators of violence, but the media and our own communities in how we report on and respond to violence. Violence is not only preventable; it is inexcusable.

To end violence against women and their children we need to address the root causes of that violence. The evidence is clear. Gender inequality underpins all forms of violence against women and their children and is, therefore, a key issue we must tackle as a country. So, in the midst of a tragic week, I felt a glimmer of hope when Victoria’s Gender Equality Bill (2019), the first of its kind in Australia, was passed in the Victorian Parliament.

This historic legislation applies to public sector workplaces and will help close the gender pay gap, improve gender equality at all levels of the workforce and reduce workplace sexual harassment. This bill can make a real difference in the lives of all Victorians and represents a milestone towards challenging the detrimental norms and practices that lead to violence against women and their children.

I’m proud of the small role I’ve played as a member of the Ministerial Council for Women’s Equality and the Equality Institute’s role in developing and piloting Gender Impact Analysis, a tool which will be used under the bill. At the Equality Institute, we are determined to keep working towards a future where gender equality is the norm and women and children are safe and thrive in all areas of their lives. A future free from violence. The Victorian State Government have shown their commitment to eliminating gender inequality, now it is our turn as a community to support it and help see this through. Together, we can end violence against women and children. Now is the time.

Dr Emma Fulu,
Executive Director, The Equality Institute