Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 March 2018) . . Page.. 811 ..
and men’s autonomy but also create new forms of gender oppression and undermine broader efforts towards equality.
We know that addressing issues of violence against women is intrinsically connected to society’s attitudes towards women and girls and intrinsically linked to the role of women in society. The World Health Organisation suggests that promoting gender equity is a critical part of violence prevention. Domestic and family violence and sexual assaults are gendered crimes. Gender stereotyping, sex discrimination and unequal power relations between men and women are significant factors contributing to the prevalence of violence against men and women. Traditional gender roles and attitudes, whether held by women or by men, are associated with greater acceptance of violence against women, while attitudes that support gender equality are associated with less acceptance of violence.
What is trickier is changing how work often performed by women—nursing, elderly care, disability support care and child care—is valued by society. That is a big attitudinal difference that we would like to resolve. We must remain resolved to hang on to our wings, to ensure that we do not go backwards. We must remain resolved to draw out and understand the links between gender equity and the reduction of violence against women.
In the spirit of the International Women’s Day theme this year, we must be bold for change and we must work collectively across all political divides to ensure that gender equity gains are achieved and maintained. I support this motion.
MS BERRY (Ginninderra—Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Minister for Housing and Suburban Development, Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Minister for Women and Minister for Sport and Recreation) (11.51): I am happy to support this motion, which acknowledges the work that we are doing and the need to keep doing it to make sure that we are making progress on gender equality and supporting women to access the services that they need to participate in life in the way they want to.
I have stood in this place many times and talked about the great achievements that have been made and the ways the ACT government seeks to support them, and also about the work that we need to keep doing so that we can continue to make real change for our city. Just yesterday I gave a ministerial statement on the status of women in the ACT. It included a long list of achievements and work being done already. Our community is doing really well. But, importantly, we cannot stop there; we have to do more.
I would like to touch on a few other things that it is timely to talk about here today. I am pleased that the motion notes the importance of supporting people’s reproductive health by having a clear and defined policy on reproductive health, providing support for accessing termination services, and continuing to work to identify and address barriers to accessing termination services for Canberrans. I agree that this is extremely important. The government’s policy, I believe, is clear and well defined. This is an area that will from time to time need to be reviewed and refined, to make sure that