Australia's world-first whole-of-government approach to end violence against women attracts international attention

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Australia brings together world’s experts on ending violence against women. Global estimates indicate that 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence. In Australia, one woman a week dies at the hands of a current or former partner. This is unacceptable.


Busy cross pass of a tram spot in Melbourne CBD, with people walking fast and cars passing through a two way street
Illustration of a round world showing the Asia Pacific outline map in blue and the sea in light grey

In 2015, all governments of the United Nations made an ambitious commitment to eliminate violence against women and girls (VAWG) by 2030 (SDG 5.2). With little over ten years left, the world remains vastly off-track. Yet we know this violence is preventable.

Evidence reveals that a holistic, multi-sectoral approach to violence prevention is most effective. Australia is the first country in the world to develop a national framework for the prevention of VAWG, Change the Story, and the first to take a whole-of-government approach to address this grave violation of human rights.

On the other side of the world, Peru and Colombia have both committed to addressing VAWG in line with international conventions and treaties, and through their own national frameworks. However, there are a number of critical challenges in terms of implementation.

To support them, the Equality Institute is facilitating a learning exchange, from 2nd - 6th March 2020, where delegates from Peru and Colombia will travel to Australia to learn about our whole-of-government prevention approach and what tools and technical support are needed to adapt experiences from Australia. The delegation is made up of government and non-government representatives from Peru and Colombia and will learn from organisations leading prevention work in Victoria and Australia including the Equality Institute, Our Watch, Municipal Association of Victoria, VicHealth, Office for Women (Victoria), Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Respect Victoria, Darebin City Council and Djirra.

“Even in recent days in Australia we have seen the tragic loss of lives as a result of violence against women and their children. We cannot afford to wait another day. A problem of this magnitude requires national and global structural change. To see individuals, communities and countries learning from each other with open hearts brings me immense hope that we can end violence against women and girls. We are all in this together.” – Dr Emma Fulu, Director, the Equality Institute

Upon returning home, delegates will be supported by the Inter-America Development Bank to implement learnings from the exchange. This collaboration between countries is a monumental move towards ending VAWG globally and one we’ve recently seen replicated with our Pacific neighbour – Fiji. The Fijian Government, through the Ministry of Women and Children, is developing Fiji’s first National Action Plan to Prevent Violence Against Women and Children, modelled off Australia’s framework. Building a future without violence requires everyone, and every country, to play a role and it’s vital we see more countries sharing and learning from one another if we are to achieve SDG 5.2 and end VAWG.