Federal Parliament - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women [25 November 2021]

25 November 2021

Dr ALYToday is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Right across the world, one in three women will have experienced abuse in their lifetime: one in three. That figure has escalated during times of humanitarian crisis and during times of conflict. According to UN Women, during the pandemic, two in three women reported that they, or a woman that they know, experienced some form of violence.

We know that violence towards women is an obstacle. It's an obstacle to achieving equality. It prevents young girls from opportunities for education. It holds women back from financial and economic security, and it perpetuates ongoing conflicts, preventing peaceful outcomes.

In Australia, we are not immune. According to Our Watch, one in three women in Australia has experienced physical violence since the age of 15. We have, as a nation, mourned the horrific murders of women and their children at the hands of their intimate or former partners. Women in Australia have marched in the streets, calling for an end to the violence. And we know that when we raise our voices, when we shout 'Enough', when we take to the streets and when we demand to live in safety, in our homes, in our streets and in our workplaces, we know that when we speak out and when we speak up that's the only way that we're going to make change.

Today launches 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and, as part of this, I pledge that I am speaking up and I am speaking out, but I am not doing it alone. Today, I am launching 'Conversations with Blokes' as part of the 16 days of Activism. It's a series in which I sit down and I talk to men about how they talk about violence against women. My first video is with the man I most admire, my husband, and we'll sit down and have a conversation about how and whether he broaches the subject of violence towards women with his mates, amongst all the conversations about ice hockey and car racing.

I encourage everyone to have those conversations with your partner, with your mates, over a beer, over a steak. Let's keep the conversation going. Let's speak up, let's speak out and let's end violence towards women in Australia and across the world in every way that we can.