Preventing Violence Against Women & Girls – Business Breakfast

PA091950-amended-cropped-1024x777The Challenge: Preventing Violence against Women & Girls

In the face of the challenge in preventing violence towards women and girls, and in keeping with the Monash research mission of impact through excellence, the Faculty of Arts are working on multidisciplinary research initiatives, aiming to produce insights and outputs that will help shape strategies designed to reduce and mitigate violent behaviours towards women and girls over the longer-term. Monash is committed to making an impact in local and global communities in ending violence against women and girls. Concentrating in this space we want change – not saving one woman at a time but saving millions.

With this in mind, the Faculty of Arts were thrilled to see the fantastic turnout for the business breakfast on Wednesday 9th October, held in the Melbourne CBD at the Park Hyatt.

The theme of the breakfast, “Preventing Violence Against Women & Girls – a Multidisciplinary Approach: working in partnership with law makers, support services and policy makers”, obviously resonated with the business, government, NGO’s and other community stakeholders present. The wide ranging audience included representatives from the Australian Red Cross Society, White Ribbon Australia, Victoria Police, Department of Health, Maribyrnong & Monash City Councils, and the Victorian Women’s Trust, to name a few.

“We must be courageous about standing up to poor behaviour.”

The Faculty were delighted to have Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay as keynote speaker for this breakfast. Chief Commissioner Lay gave a compelling and thought provoking speech, outlining his thoughts on the role he would like to see men take in leading the way to transform cultures and attitudes towards violence against women: “We can’t start changing much if half of us aren’t involved in the conversation”.

Particularly, Chief Commissioner Lay expressed the need to broaden conversations on this issue, in both the public and private domain. “Private conversations might help make it deeply shameful to heckle, grope or bash women… if our public conversations on these issues can take hold, they influence editorials and public policy.”

“So we must get serious about structural biases against women, as we must be courageous about standing up to poor behaviour.”

PA091965-amended-300x186Women’s empowerment is a deterrent to violence

Following the address by Chief Commissioner Lay, our MC for this event – Associate Professor JaneMaree Maher (Director, Centre for Women’s Studies and Gender Research) – invited the first of our lightning presentations to commence. Professor Jacqui True, Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Arts, and Professor of International Relations, gave a passionate presentation on modelling the economic drivers and consequences of violence against women and girls, noting “there is compelling research evidence that women’s empowerment – especially their economic empowerment – is a deterrent to violence; when women have equal access to productive resources relative to men they are both less vulnerable and more able to protect themselves from violence”.

Concluding, Professor True called upon the Australian Government, at both state and federal level, to invest in research and programs to prevent and mitigate the consequences of violence against women and girls. “When it comes to prevention we need to know what works – so that our strategies for prevention are not only effective but sustainable”.  Professor True suggested “with good policymaking, preventing violence against women and girls and promoting economic development (for women and girls in particularly) go hand-in-hand”.

Dr Danielle Tyson spoke next, discussing the preliminary findings from pilot research on young people’s ideas about cyberbullying and sexting (a project undertaken in collaboration with Dr Amy Dobson of the Faculty of Arts, and Dr Mary Louise Rasmussen from the Faculty of Education). This project examines young people’s beliefs about gender and ethical use of communication technologies. Dr Tyson and her colleagues are keen further this pilot research on teen’s reactions to ‘sexting’ educational campaigns, and to understand the fundamental gender politics at play in the school setting which underpins teen’s engagement in social media and communication technologies.

Professor Sharon Pickering was the final presenter for the morning. Professor Pickering outlined the dire proximity and prevalence of violence for women in an immigration context. In particular, Professor Pickering highlighted how too many women’s experience of migration is characterised throughout by violence during exit, transit, arrival, and settlement phases of migration journeys.

Work with us 

Monash is highly committed to making an impact with its research, translating its research into meaningful outcomes to the wider community. If you would like any further information on the topics discussed at the breakfast, or on other topics which you would like to explore with Monash, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Development Office in the Faculty of Arts. 

The Faculty of Arts are grateful for the support of Industry Engagement and Commercialisation team in sponsoring this event at the Park Hyatt.

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