In the space of a week I read of three cases of varying degrees of gender based discrimination and violence that typify why the #metoo and #violenceagainstwomenand children campaigns remain an intractable reality in 2018:
Firstly, ABC journalist, Patricia Karvelas being banned from question time for wearing a blouse exposing her bare arms; secondly, Ada Hegerberg from France, the first female recipient of the Ballon d’Or (international soccer award) being asked to ‘twerk’ as she received her award on stage; and thirdly, the International Fed. of the Red Cross releasing a seminal report of over 300K unaccompanied children at daily risk of sexual and gender-based violence along the world’s most predatory migratory rails.
In all, these scenarios show the continuum of gender based discrimination and violence that must be named and challenged.
These ideas and more, formed the content of a recent keynote address I delivered for Victoria University’s Vice Chancellor’s Luncheon in support of the global ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign and Gender Equality’.
From grassroots to governance, I acknowledged the role we all have to play. Whether it’s calling out casual misogyny, protecting women’s bodily autonomy or prosecuting rape as a war crime in conflict zones- the causal link from thought to action, is strewn with social, cultural and political behaviours that must be challenged.
I wish to acknowledge in particular, VU’s seminal ‘Preventing Violence Against Women Ten Point Plan 2016—2019’, so effective in its implementation that it has being sought out by universities across the nation to administer.