President's comment - 25 Nov 2015
End violence against women
All men must stand up, speak out and act to prevent violence against women. With 60 other countries, White Ribbon Day in Australia marks the United Nations’ International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Violence against women is a serious problem in Australia, where:
- over 12 months, on average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence
- a woman is most likely to be killed by her male partner in her home
- domestic and family violence is the principle cause of homelessness for women and their children
- intimate partner violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and ill-health in Australian women aged 15-44
- one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them
- one in four children are exposed to domestic violence, which is a recognised form of child abuse
- the cost of violence against women to the Australian economy is estimated to rise to $15.6 billion per annum
- one in five women experience harassment within the workplace
- one in five women over 18 has been stalked during her lifetime.
Chances are we all know or work with a woman who has experienced such violence. As a union in which women make up more than 76% of our membership, that represents a profession where 80% of the workforce are women, and that works in schools with education support workers who are predominantly women, the QTU takes the issue of violence against women very seriously.
Schools around the nation are now engaging in the push for social change on our attitudes towards women. The White Ribbon organisation provides a range of materials and programs to support schools in this activity.
The QTU welcomes today’s announcement by the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk, that all public servants experiencing domestic violence will now have access to 10 days of paid leave per year and all government departments will have a comprehensive policy of support. Furthermore, the Premier challenged all Queensland employers to join with her government in championing cultural change in our workplaces, and the community as a whole, by matching the government’s pledge.
The men of the QTU, Executive, staff and officers, accept this responsibility and urge your support. Take the oath and join the campaign to end violence against women.
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