Ending gender-based violence takes us all. See the below guides on how you can take action in your environment.
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Taking action and creating change can start in all different places: the home, workplace, business, school and in communities. Fundamentally, change starts with the choices, actions, language and attitudes of individuals.
Our Watch’s Change The Story framework recommends five key actions individuals can take to prevent violence against women. You can read about them below:
This can mean anything from the language you use when speaking about gender equality to the policies at your workplace that include a plan towards equal pay and representation or access to flexible working arrangements for parents and carers of all genders.
Why does a man need to have a daughter to care about women’s rights? Why is it women’s responsibility to keep themselves safe and not men’s responsibility to not use violence?
Empowerment is about creating equal opportunities for all, regardless of gender. It is about equal access to education, work, power and leadership and about actively championing women’s voices and perspectives.
Why don't you apply for the role? Why are men deciding on the laws that govern the bodies of women, non-binary, trans and gender diverse people?
This means speaking up when a person might be using gender as a way of categorising a person’s job, interests or relationships or catching yourself when you automatically assume a person’s gender based on what you hear about them.
Why can’t my son wear nail polish? Why did you assume my nurse was a woman?
This includes modelling healthy, consensual relationships with intimate partners, family members, friends, and work colleagues. Relationships should make us feel safe, supported, and equal NOT jealous, controlled, anxious or walking on eggshells.
Why didn’t he ask if it felt good? Why does your girlfriend have to be the one to pay for and take contraception? Why did she stop coming to youth group?
This is about challenging sexist, racist and homophobic comments. It means believing a woman's story, challenging a pervasive culture of victim blaming and not excusing violence against women in any form.
Why is gender-based violence a woman’s problem to solve? Why does she have to be the one that leaves? Why can’t I walk home at night like he does?
On average, a person will spend one third of their life at work. This means our workplaces, systems, spaces, culture and people, have an enormous responsibility to not only be safe and supportive but address gender inequality and prevent violence against women.
Gender bias is pervasive at work and in organisations, creating inequalities at every stage of the employment cycle. To fix this, workplaces must use inclusive and accessible language on job advertisements and internal communications, ensure there is always diversity in the room in recruitment and interview processes, put in structures so that there is no gender bias in the evaluation of credentials and negotiation of salary.
Why are all the people on our board men? Why do I feel bad to ask for a pay rise?
Unequal pay is one of the key drivers of the gender pay gap. This is why we must ensure all people, no matter their gender identity, are paid the same when performing work of equal or comparable value. It is an employer’s responsibility to also ensure women have equal access to work-based training and promotions.
Why does he get paid more than me when we are in the same role? Why aren’t all Australian companies publishing a breakdown of their salaries by gender?
To make sure workplaces are safe and supportive spaces for women, employers must take a zero-tolerance approach towards harassment, bullying and discrimination. This means taking harassers to account and ensuring violence towards women is never excused or tolerated. This means believing women when they say they are experiencing workplace harassment.
Why is her story never taken seriously? Why wasn’t my complaint followed up? Why did she have to leave her job?
Workplaces have a responsibility to lead the way towards a more just and equitable world. Through prevention of violence training, workplaces can ensure their staff are educated and empowered to take action both in their professional and personal lives. The prevention of violence against women demands an all of community approach and workplaces need to lead the way.
Why does the responsibility to educate men on gender equality fall on women? Can we have training in bystander intervention?
The movement towards gender equality demands employers have workplace policies in place to support women. This means everything from flexible work arrangements, which are increasingly being recognised as a key enabler of gender equality, to parental leave, domestic violence leave and women in leadership positions. When workplaces have the structures in place to support women, workplaces are more productive, have better employee retention and foster a culture of gender equality and inclusion.
Why aren’t men encouraged to take parental leave at the same rates as women? Why can’t I work flexibly if it means I get the job done?
Are you teaching, or is your school teaching, respectful relationships, consent, or bystander intervention education? There hasn’t been a more critical time for our students, teachers, parents, and communities to get involved in a Whole of School Approach to the prevention of violence against women.
This means ensuring schools are actively including gender equality, respectful relationships and prevention education in their vision, values, and ethos. It means ensuring facilities, policies, and leadership positions (among both staff and students) are inclusive, diverse, and representative of all genders. The governance and leadership team, whether this is the principal, year coordinator, student support officer, P&C or student council, all have to be part of driving a school wide commitment to prevention by modelling gender equality.
Why isn’t gender-based violence treated like bullying? Why don’t we have gender neutral uniforms? Why are all the sports teachers’ men?
This means including prevention of violence education for both students and staff. Teachers need to be resourced and supported to integrate prevention throughout the curriculum and be confident to talk about the links between gender, power and violence. This can be done through specialised classes on consent and healthy relationships as well as using a gendered lens for mainstream curriculum focusing on including diverse women’s experiences and contributions throughout history.
Using a holistic approach to gender equality education means that students will have the skills, language, and resources to challenge attitudes or behaviours that support gender-based violence.
Why am I not learning about consent? Why aren’t any of the texts we’re reading written by women? Why do they break the class up into boys and girls when they teach us about healthy relationships? Why is it the PDHPE teacher’s job to teach respectful relationships education and consent? Why are LGBTIQ+ relationships and bodies not included when we talk about healthy relationships?
This means recognising the likelihood that members of the school community, including staff and students, might be experiencing, witnessing, or perpetrating gender-based violence. Through the development of community partnerships, schools can partner with local youth, mental health, domestic violence, and homelessness services to ensure the most appropriate referrals and support options are available for students and their families. The cultural change process towards gender equality will only happen when everyone in the school community is safe, supported, has access to resources and feels empowered to create change.
Why isn’t there anyone at school I can speak to about what happened on the weekend? Who do I go to about what’s happening at home? Do young people know there is support available to them? Why do I have to search on the internet to find information about sex and relationships?
Are you teaching, or is your school teaching you, respectful relationships, consent, or bystander intervention education? There hasn’t been a more critical time for our students, teachers, parents, and communities to get involved in a Whole of School Approach to the prevention of violence against women.Contact UsFind more resources