Equality key to eliminating violence against women

2015 World Netball Cup Day 1 Australia v Trinadad & Tobago Sharni Layton and Laura Geitz

The prevention of violence against women and their children begins with gender equality and respect.

Wednesday 25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Violence against women is one of the most prevalent public health issues Australia faces with one in three Australian women experiencing physical violence, one in four emotional abuse and one in five sexual violence, according to national data.

Netball Australia – along with the Australian Football League (AFL), National Rugby League (NRL) and Australian Rugby Union (ARU) – have teamed up with Our Watch to help drive nation-wide change in the culture, behaviors and attitudes that lead to violence against women and their children.

As the largest female team participation sport in Australia, Netball Australia is in a unique position to empower women to create positive environments that promote gender equality and acceptable gender norms which challenge the idea that women and men should act in certain ways or are better at certain things based on their sex, which can lead to excusing, justifying or condoning violence and inequality.

Sporting clubs and organisations are crucial in bringing together large numbers of people and communicating and role modelling respectful environments, behaviours and attitudes.

Sport has a role to play in embedding gender equality and respectful relationships into networks and communities.

“Sporting clubs and organisations bring together large numbers of people and provide a ready-made environment to promote women’s participation and opportunities,” Our Watch Chair Natasha Stott Despoja says.

“These clubs and organisations can help eliminate gender-based discrimination and violence-supportive attitudes.”

The Australian Diamonds are encouraging the netball family to work together to create environments that promote equality and respect as a key strategy to eliminate violence against women and children.

To learn more about how you can promote fair, inclusive and respectful behaviors and attitudes both on and off the court, you can complete Netball Australia’s `Expect Respect’ eLearning modules here.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au.

In an emergency, call 000.

To learn more about Netball Australia’s partnership with Our Watch click here.