Global Cooperation and Training Framework Conference on Ending Gender-based Violence
Remarks by Australian Representative Jenny Bloomfield
24-25 May 2022
I am honoured to represent all partners and co-hosts in opening today’s conference on Ending Gender-based Violence.
Gender-based violence of any kind is never acceptable.
This is a global issue that affects everyone, everywhere.
Gender-based violence is rooted in gender inequality, harmful norms, and the abuse of power.
It is a serious violation of human rights, with consequences that are devastating.
We know that in times of increased insecurity, displacement and conflict, the incidence of gender-based violence increases dramatically.
The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified and accelerated pre-existing inequalities, creating a climate for the regression of human rights.
Reports of intimate partner violence in many countries, including Australia, increased substantially over this time.
Cyber violence against women and girls also increased.
Women are disproportionately targeted in every form of online abuse – nearly three quarters of reports about online harms received by Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety – eSafety - came from women and girls.
And the rate of abuse was much higher for younger women, women with disability, and those who identify as LGBTIQ.
All people are entitled to respect; and to be able to live their lives freely, and to participate fully and equally in public life, without fear of harassment, discrimination or violence.
Ending gender-based violence requires a national and global effort - from governments, workplaces, schools, communities and individuals, working together to change social norms, attitudes and behaviours to eliminate gender inequality.
Australia will continue to work towards greater equality, and towards ending gender-based violence in all its forms - at home and in our region, including through our aid and humanitarian programs.
Earlier this year, Australia’s new Online Safety Act came into effect – this will be an important avenue for those who experience harmful online abuse to seek assistance when platforms fail to act.
Taiwan is a leader in gender equality, including a world-leading proportion of female lawmakers. I congratulate Taiwan on the recent launch of its first ever Human Rights Action Plan, which I understand will look closely at these issues.
Only by working together will we be able to end gender-based violence.
I am delighted that we have distinguished speakers from Taiwan, Australia, the United States, Japan, the EU, the UK, Canada, Israel, India and others, joining this conference.
Thank you all for your leadership, and I wish you a productive conference.