Ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has called on men to step up and help end Australia’s epidemic of violence against women, noting that this is “not a problem that women should have to solve”.
“I’m very proud to lead the first government in Australia with a majority of women in our membership,” Albanese said to government leaders who gathered together at Parliament House on Wednesday morning to officially launch Australia’s 2024 International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrations.
“You can see across every portfolio, this makes a difference. Because of women campaigning with the union movement, making it clear that no one should have to choose between safety and their job, we now have 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave.”
“Because of women’s advocacy and the work of experts like Anne Summers, emphasising the way that poverty and financial dependency trap people in violent relationships, we’ve delivered more support for single mums,” he said.
“When women are seeking help, they should be heard and seen, believed, supported and empowered.”
“While women are shaping these policies and driving these responses, ending this epidemic of violence has to involve men stepping up. Because violence against women is not a problem that women should have to solve.”
The tragic number of women killed in Australia shows that the epidemic of violence plaguing the nation. In 2023, Destroy the Joint data revealed a staggering 64 women’s lives were stolen by violence, and already this year, six women have lost their lives to violence.
The gender-based nature of this violence is clear, as men are often the perpetrators of physical violence, sexual harassment and sexual violence. This reality makes Albanese’s call for men to “take responsibility” all the more critical.
Ahead of the UN Global Day of Observance on 8 March, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton co-hosted the annual UN Women Australia event.
“The lead-up to International Women’s Day is an opportunity for all of us to recognise the progress that women are driving across our economy and our society,” Albanese said.
“It’s a chance to re-affirm our commitment to true gender equality – in the community, the boardroom, on the sporting field, in our parliaments. Above all, this is a time when we must face-up to where we are falling short and look for new ways to do better.”
Also present at the event were some of the government’s most high profile womne, including Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong, Minister for Women Katy Gallagher and Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth.
This year’s official theme for IWD is ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women. Accelerate Progress’, based on the priority theme for the United Nations 68th Commission on the Status of Women, exploring the pathways to greater economic inclusion for women and girls everywhere.