White Ribbon Day 2012

from Australian Agency for International Development
Published on 21 Nov 2012 View Original

In some countries in the Pacific two out of three women have experienced violence at the hands of men. Globally around 30 per cent of women experience physical, psychological or sexual violence. As well as devastating lives and fracturing communities, violence undermines good development.

AusAID has organised its work on gender equality and women’s empowerment around four pillars, one of which is ending violence against women and girls at home, in their communities, and in disaster and conflict situations.

AusAID’s programs to eliminate violence against women include:

  • In Indonesia, AusAID’s new four-year Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction program (MAMPU) will improve the welfare of up to three million poor women. MAMPU aims to strengthen women’s leadership to reduce violence against women. It will support women’s organisations to engage with the Government of Indonesia and the private sector to advocate for policy reforms and services for women and their families affected by violence. Activities that may be supported under this new project include support for centres helping victims of domestic violence, public awareness campaigns on the issue of domestic violence and women’s rights and legal and policy reform to reduce discriminatory legislation.

  • In the Pacific, the Australian Government will commit $320 million over the next 10 years for activities under the new initiative Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development. One of the three key focus areas of the initiative is to increase safety for women through better services for survivors of violence, access to justice and preventing violence. Over 10 years, we expect the initiative to support more than 150,000 women who experience violence by providing services such as counselling, medical assistance, and safe shelter. This initiative will also support prevention activities and women’s groups, male advocates and Pacific leadership networks to assist them to act as drivers of social change.

Australian funding has helped Pacific countries respond to violence against women and provide services for survivors, for example: - the Vanuatu Family Protection Act, which came into effect in 2009 after 11 years of advocacy by women’s rights activists

  • the Fiji Women’s Crisis Centre, which has provided over 3,500 services to survivors of violence each year since 2009.