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Preventing gender violence - be part of the change
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Joining the dots . . . gender, power & violence toward women
 - Issue 14

 AUGUST UPDATE 2016

Last week I was invited to deliver a workshop at the Annual Conference of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion held at the Australian Catholic University. For Thursday's line up of international and national speakers the link between gender and violence was background noise, regretfully expected and, not shocking enough, to warrant any serious consideration.

They talked of nuclear armament, the Middle East, gun control, obstacles to disarmament. In turn each speaker failed to notice the obvious - women rarely manufacture, sell, buy, or use weapons, yet women are disproportionately affected by the arms trade and in particular, by the proliferation and misuse of arms and weapons.  

A gender analysis uncovers how weapons are used—and against whom and why. And, illuminates some of the connections between masculinities and 'gun cultures' that promote the possession and use of weapons. As well, helps to demonstrate that the enshrinement of nuclear weapons as an emblem of power is both a 'cause' and 'consequence' of low levels of women’s participation in political, economic and social decision-making and, in fact, participation in day-to-day life.

What can be done to shift a familiar metaphysic which reduces violence against women to an after thought; a footnote? Lots, as it turns out. 

Societies that link stereotypical negative attitudes about females with violence against women are making headway in tackling the problem. One global leader in this regard is Australia. Australia has unified its largely autonomous states and territories around a National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children.

The Victorian Council of Churches, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, Wesley Mission Victoria, the Islamic Council of Victoria and, more recently, the Victorian Multicultural Commission have teamed up to promote interventions that encourage gender equality and prevent family violence and violence against women by challenging rigid stereotypes that give some men an excuse to use unfettered power over women.

The struggle to end gender-directed violence will take time, but the strategies can be straight-forward once we join the dots between gender, power and violence against women. 

 Reminder of events coming up:

  • Aug 8- Cancellation of Active Bystander Workshop @ St Aidan's Noble Park 
  • Aug 14 - Presentation Council of Christians & Jews (CCJ), St Peter's Eastern Hill, 15 Gisborne St, East Melbourne, 3.00 to 6.00 pm. For further inquiries contact Liz: ph: 9429 5212; email: ccjvic@bigpond.com  
  • Aug 20 -  Sudanese leadership forum to prevent violence against women, 11.00am, Anglican Church of the Epiphany Hoppers Crossing. Contact Rev Duku Atuku for further details. Email: dukuatuku@ymail.com 
  • Aug 21 -  Homily - 9am service,  St Paul's Anglican Church Westmeadows. Details and registration
  • Aug 31 - Workshop, 1 pm - 3pm,  Saint Eanswythe's Anglican Church. Sponsored by MU Melbourne. Details and registration
  • Nov 23 & 24 - Workshops Swan Hill & Eaglehawk, sponsored by Mothers' Union Bendigo. Details and registration
  • Dec 4 - Holding the light - an ecumenical service to remember the victims and survivors of domestic violence in Australia.  Details and registration 

Violence prevention resources   

If you would like to show case the violence prevention work of your faith community or submit any success (or partial success) that you've had as an active bystander upload it here 

Think Prevent is edited by Rosemary McCoy and Jill Graham; information is issued by Kempster Consultants.  Our editorial, information about events, links, and reports within the e-Newsletter are not necessarily endorsed or supported by the Anglican Diocese of Melbourne, its program partners Brotherhood of St Laurence or Anglicare Victoria. 

For further information contact: Dr Ree Boddé  (M) 0450039288. Email: thinkprevent@gmail.com
We declare our commitment to be an Active Bystander against discrimination, sexism, sexual abuse and violence whether at home, on the sports field, at work, in our house of worship, or out with friends, family, colleagues, or workmates
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