IWDA’s Submission to the Finance and Public Administration and Reference Committee inquiry into Domestic Violence and Gender Inequality (March 2016).

On 25 November 2015, the matter of domestic violence and gender inequality was referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report. The inquiry makes particular reference to: the role of gender inequality in all spheres of life contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence; the role of gender stereotypes in contributing to cultural conditions which support domestic violence; and the role of government initiatives at all levels in addressing the underlying causes.

On 9 May 2016, the inquiry lapsed with the dissolution of the Senate and House of Representatives for a general election on 2 July 2016. On 15 September 2016 the Senate agreed to re-refer the inquiry with a reporting date of 24 November 2016

Violence against women and gender inequality are global problems, taking place in all societies and cultures and affecting women of all ages, races, abilities, ethnicities or social origins. IWDA’s submission to this Inquiry examines the issue of domestic violence and gender in the context of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. Global Goal 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment specifies explicit targets for the elimination of violence against women and girls (VAWG). Meeting Australia’s commitments under these goals requires that national work goes hand in hand with action on Australia’s commitments to address VAWG abroad as a priority international issue.

In its submission, IWDA recommends that the Australian Government:

  • Reinstates a whole of government gender budget process – the Women’s Budget Statement (WBS) – formally engaging civil society, particularly women’s rights organisations.
  • Addresses the underlying cause of domestic violence and meets Australia’s commitment under the Global Goals through an integrated, coordinated and collaborative approach across Government and civil society, including DFAT and the Australian Aid Program.
  • Incorporates an international component into all subsequence action plans under Australia’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.
  • Addresses gender inequality and empowers women to claim their human rights, ensuring the inclusion of women with disabilities.
  • Transforms institutional practices and broader social norms that reinforce and condone VAWG.
  • Recognises VAWG is a potential consequence of women’s empowerment (e.g. economic).
  • Increases funding for women’s rights organisations and networks, both domestically and through the Australian aid program.
  • Increases expenditure on aid investments which target gender equality as a primary objective while improving tracking and reporting abilities.

Read the full submission here.