A new peak body promoting gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women was launched in Victoria today by the state’s Minister for Women and the Prevention of Family Violence, Natalie Hutchins.
The new body, Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC), will see the Women’s Health Association of Victoria’s membership expanded, and opening its doors to include a new range of health organisations covering the gender equality and prevention of violence against women sector.
Victoria has already made significant investments in addressing gender inequality across the state. In late 2016 it launched its first gender equality strategy, outlining a series of reforms and initiatives affecting government, business, sporting clubs and the media. It’s also previously pledged a massive half a billion dollars to addressing domestic and family violence, far eclipsing the Federal Government response.
The new body’s convener, Kristine Olaris, said that while “change is underway” there’s still more work to be done until, “Women are paid equally to men, until women’s autonomy over their own bodies ceases to be questioned, until all women are safe in their homes and in public, there’s still much more work to be done.”
She said the new body will help to unite many of the organisations and individuals who are working towards the equality, health and freedom from violence for every woman and girl in Victoria.
GEN VIC’s first strategic plan offers four key priorities, including advancing gender equity; promoting women’s sexual and reproductive health; preventing violence against women and building an influential and sustainable peak body.
The body is now accepting expressions of interest for membership from organisations and individuals across Victoria who advance gender equity and hold values that align with feminist principles. Check out their website.
The organisation has launched by sharing a number of data points regarding harassment and violence against women, including that eight out of ten women aged 18 to 24 were harassed on the street in the past year, more than one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in her lifetime, and that increasingly women are experiencing psychological and emotional harm online and fearing for their physical safety. On average, one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
Check out GEN VIC’s introduction video.