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Tuesday, 28 November 2017
Page: 9024

Senator URQUHART (TasmaniaOpposition Whip in the Senate) (16:13): At the request of Senators Fierravanti-Wells and Moore, I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) on 25 November 2017, the world observed International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women,

   (ii) this day starts the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign which ends on 10 December, Human Rights Day - this is an important time to shine a light on serious problems which affects every country and every community in the world, but which is too often hidden,

   (iii) the theme of 'Leave no one behind: End violence against women and girls' reminds us that we must work to protect and provide services for the most vulnerable populations, including women with disabilities, women from migrant and minority groups, Indigenous women, and women living in remote and rural areas,

   (iv) women in the Pacific face among the highest levels of violence in the world: 60 per cent of women and girls have experienced violence by an intimate partner or family member, and

   (v) violence against women, and the threat of violence, is an abuse of women's human rights - it limits women's participation in social, political and economic life, and this significantly impacts on social and economic development, affecting families, communities and nations;

(b) further notes that respective governments have:

   (i) funded services for women and children who have experienced violence - in the last five years, 56 076 women and children across the Pacific have accessed a variety of crisis support, including counselling, health and legal services,

   (ii) worked closely with the law and justice systems and has supported a number of Pacific countries to enact legislation to criminalise domestic violence and provide greater protection for women and children,

   (iii) worked with Pacific organisations which work with men as influencers and role models to reduce acceptance of violence - in the last five years over 3,000 Pacific men have been supported to undertake male advocacy training to support gender equality and women's rights, and

   (iv) worked with churches, governments, community organisations, United Nations agencies and the private sector to expand Pacific-owned violence prevention programs to new communities, as well as to introduce initiatives which have demonstrated results in other parts of the world; and

(c) recognises that:

   (i) violence against women is unacceptable anywhere, anytime,

   (ii) ending violence against women is critical to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and many of the other goals by 2030,

   (iii) respective Australian Governments have a long and proud tradition of working with Pacific organisations to support survivors of violence and that we have a lot to learn from each other, and

   (iv) Australia needs to partner with Pacific organisations over the long term, as this is the only way to support transformational and sustainable change.

Question agreed to.