Sunday, 8 March 2009

Today is International Women's Day: Amnesty Campaigns

Today is International Women's Day.

Amnesty International has issued this (edited) release:

Violence against women is the most widespread human rights abuse in the world. But the plight of women and girls is not just a distant problem in other nations - it’s right here on our doorstep.

In Australia one woman every week is killed by their partner.[National Homicide Monitoring Programme Annual Report 2003-2004, Australian Institute of Criminology ]

In the same period 2,415 women will experience sexual abuse. [Personal Safety Survey Australia 2005, Australian Bureau of Statistics]

Alarmingly almost two in every three women in this country experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. [Mouzos, J and Makkai, T (2004) Women’s Experiences of Male Violence, Australian Institute of Criminology]

These aren't throwaway statistics - they uncover a national problem that needs a national solution.Please act now to ensure that the Government adequately funds a national plan to address violence against women.

Last year we presented to the Government our petition with over 30,000 signatures calling for the development of a national strategy to address violence against women. But while the Government agreed to produce a national plan, the draft plan is now behind schedule and is in danger of missing out on the funding it so desperately deserves.Domestic violence alone costs Australia $8.1 billion a year through increasing demands on medical services, social services, the criminal justice system, housing, policing and emergency response. What’s more, our federal spending on violence against women is woefully behind European standards. Investing now will not only save money, but give women and girls in our communities the safety and support they are entitled to.Make sure Australia leads the world in good practice by committing more money to stop violence against women in the May budget.

On Sunday - International Women’s Day - people around the world will be celebrating the contribution of women. But while we take time to celebrate, please take action now on behalf of Australian women and children. If you have done so already, forward this email to at least two friends asking them to do the same. On Tuesday we will be taking your messages to Parliament House in Canberra to make sure your voice is heard.Thank you, together we are making an impact.
Claire Mallinson
National Director
Amnesty International Australia

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