For many years women and girls have fought for their human rights - to be educated; to access health care, to own property, to vote, and much more. But, in Australia and around the world, women and girls continue to face violence and discrimination.Read more
What are we fighting for?
Everything you need to know
All around the world, including in Australia, women are denied their human rights on the basis of their sex and gender identity.
Gender-based violence is a violation of human rights – and it is one of the most widespread human rights abuses in the world.
Around the world, gender based violence affects 1 in 3 women in their lifetime.
Violence, sexism, and discrimination is rife in Australia — in the military, in Parliament, in our schools, universities, and workplaces, and on our streets. 1 in 5 women will experience violence in an intimate relationship, while 1 in 5 have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
Trans women and gender diverse people experience sexual violence at twice the rate of the general population.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women – who also battle the ramifications of colonialism and racism – are 5 times as likely to experience physical violence, and 3 times as likely to experience sexual violence, than other women in Australia.
According to the Amnesty International Australia Human Rights Barometer 2021:
- 52% of Australians regard women’s rights a marked area of concern for the country’s general population.
- 22% of supporters of an Australian Human Rights Act feel that a national legal framework would provide an important protection for vulnerable people, including the rights of those who are at risk of gender-based abuse and violence.
It is the responsibility of a state to protect women from gender-based violence. On 17 August 1983 Australia signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). In doing so, Australia committed to take action so Australian women can enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms.
This isn’t happening. The Australian government isn’t doing enough. The government needs to take action so that every single woman and girl in this country will be free from gender-based violence.
If you are experiencing violence, call 1800RESPECT or click here to visit their website for confidential information, counselling and support services.
Women. Life. Freedom.
Women and girls have been at the forefront of the popular uprising in Iran, challenging decades of gender-based discrimination and violence. They have defied Iran’s discriminatory and degrading forced veiling laws which force women and girls to cover their hair with a headscarf.
Women and girls who do not face daily harassment and violence, arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment.
The so-called “morality police” and other law enforcement bodies place all women and girls under surveillance.
Online violence and abuse
Online violence and abuse against women is a far too common experience. More so if you’re a woman from a minority racial, ethnic or religious background, a woman with disabilities, if you’re a lesbian, bisexual or trans woman – or any combination of these.
Sexual and reproductive rights
Being able to make our own decisions about our health, body and sexual life is a basic human right.
But many women and girls around the world are still unable to access safe and legal abortions, and have difficulties accessing contraception. In several countries, people who want or need to end pregnancies are often forced to make an impossible choice: put their lives at risk or go to prison.
Women’s rights activists
Around the world, authorities continue to persecute and imprison many women’s rights activists, simply for peacefully advocating for women’s rights.
Women like Nassima are in prison for defending women’s rights. Nassima bravely campaigned for an end to the male guardianship system and the driving ban on women in Saudi Arabia. She risked her freedom to demand equality for everyone in Saudi Arabia. In 2018, the authorities arrested and imprisoned Nassima for her human rights work.Close
What can we do?
When everyone comes together to support the rights of women and girls, we can do so much. There is still so much to do, but together, we can do it.Read more
We need your voice.
Keep challenging injustice
For many years women’s rights movements have fought hard to address violence and inequality; campaigning to change laws, policies, and culture, and taking to the streets to demand their rights are respected.
And new movements have flourished in the recent years, such as the #MeToo campaign which highlights the prevalence of gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
Campaign for real, lasting change
Through research, advocacy and campaigning, Amnesty International pressures the people in power to respect women’s rights.
- Researching human rights abuses against women and girls, including in Dominica, where our research has shown that women sex workers, who are often people of colour, or transgender, or both, suffer torture and persecution by the police
- Campaigning for states to sign and ratify, human rights instruments like the Istanbul Convention that combat violence against women and domestic violence
- Advocating for the Australian government to fulfill its obligations under CEDAW and do everything it can to prevent gender-based violence in Australia
- Calling or the release of women’s rights activists like Nassima
Australian governments must commit to funding and resourcing service providers and family violence and women’s legal services, including specialist services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, multicultural and migrant women, trans women and gender diverse people.
Together, we are unstoppable
By working hand in hand with our partners, and pressuring the people with the power to make a difference, together we can make the world a place where women and girls can be free from violence and discrimination.
When everyone comes together to support women’s rights, we can do so much. There is so much work to do, but together, we can do it.Close
Wiyi Yani U Thangani
First Nations women and girls hold the solutions to drive transformative change, and achieve gender justice.Read More
Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) builds on the legacy of the 1986 Women’s Business Report, which was the first time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women were heard as a collective.
Led by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, June Oscar AO, the Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) project set out to capture what Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and girls consider to be their strengths, challenges and aspirations.
Throughout 2018, the Commissioner and her team travelled to 50 locations in urban, regional and remote areas across every state and territory. They conducted 106 engagements and met with 2,294 women of all ages, including senior elders, girls from 12 to 17 years of age, women in prison and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, Sistergirl and Brotherboy (LGBTQIA+SB).
Wiyi Yani U Thangani puts forward an ambitious First Nations women and girl-led agenda to shift the course toward achieving First Nations gender justice and equality. This agenda elevates First Nations women’s voices, knowing that they hold the solutions to drive transformative change.
Amnesty International Australia is a proud supporter of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Wiyi Yani U Thangani (Women’s Voices) Report and project.Close