Thousands unite against gendered violence

24 March, 2021

Thousands of Australian women and allies rallied at nationwide Marches 4 Justice against gendered violence held last week.

In Brisbane, those who rallied marched from Brisbane’s King George Square to Speakers’ Corner, gathering under the shadow of Queensland’s Parliament House.

IEU attended the Brisbane rally (pictured, above) as well as other rallies across the country.

The Women’s Marches 4 Justice were organised by grassroots women activists in the wake of gendered violence allegations connected to the federal government.

The statistics about gendered violence are well known but bear repeating:

  • 1 in 3 Australian women over the age of 15 has experienced physical or sexual violence perpetrated by a man.
  • A woman is killed every week in Australia at the hands of a current or former partner.
  • 1 in 5 First Nations women over the age of 15 has experienced physical violence in the past 12 months.
  • 64% of women have experienced sexual harassment at work.
  • 43% of workers who made a complaint about sexual harassment felt it was ignored or not taken seriously.

Sources: OurWatch; ACTU


No justice until all women are safe

With gendered violence now dominating national conversation, the marches have crystalised the next phase of a long fight for justice.

Change must be made to ensure women can be safe at home, at work and in the community.

When one speaker addressed the Brisbane March 4 Justice she said:

“We are here because we have a dream of living free from violence. This is our story.”

It has been in the refusal to listen to and learn from women’s stories that justice has remained out of reach.

And as Grace Tame, Australian of the Year and abuse survivor said when she addressed the Hobart March 4 Justice:

“…as is often the case when an issue that has been shrouded in darkness for such a long time is suddenly thrust into the light, there’s widespread shock and disbelief over how something so evil could happen, and not just happen, but happen so ubiquitously. And the answer is plain and simple – silence. Evil thrives in silence. Behaviour unspoken, behaviour ignored, is behaviour endorsed.”

Unions have a significant role to play in the fight against gendered violence.

We can use our voice to make workplaces safer for women and for all workers.

Our union offers gendered violence training to members to help stamp out harmful behaviour in workplace. Click here to read more about this or let us know if you would like to attend training on gendered violence.

More broadly, as a movement that is comprised of a majority of women members, unions can make a significant contribution to the discourse about gendered violence.

Union members have powerful stories to share.

And in the wake of these nationwide marches for justice, the silence is well and truly broken.


IEU Branches rally around the country

Read further coverage from the Women’s Marches 4 Justice here.

Support available
If this topic has raised any concerns for you, please remember that support is available.

  • Lifeline Australia 13 11 14 – 24/7 crisis support service
  • 1800 RESPECT – 24/7 support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse

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