Brimbank Deputy Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou has called on the community to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world – where men and women speak out against violence.
Speaking at the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network International Women’s Day celebration in Deer Park on Wednesday 8 March, Cr Papafotiou said that despite the progress that had been made, gender equity was an ongoing challenge.
“Women and men must be bold for change – we all have a role to play when it comes to promoting gender equity and preventing violence against women,” Cr Papafotiou said.
“Council’s vision is to create a gender equitable city where women live free from violence – we are committed to building a community where women and men are equal and respected.
“Gender inequity costs us as a community – there are high rates of violence against women, discrepancies in income for men and women doing the same job, and barriers for women to maintain a good work-life balance.
“We need to do more as a community to support all women who are victims of violence regardless of whether the perpetrator is a family member, partner, or a stranger.
“It is also important to understand that violence can take many forms and includes physical, emotional or financial abuse as well as cyber bullying and stalking.”
Council's Plan to Prevent Men's Violence Against Women; towards gender equity (2015-2019) sets out an approach for the delivery of Council’s actions to enhance gender equity and prevent violence against women.
Cr Papafotiou said Council had partnered with government agencies, organisations and community groups to promote gender equality and work to prevent violence against women.
“Council lives out its commitment to gender equity on a number of fronts – through advocating for change, partnering with other organisations, and supporting those who are working for positive change in the community,” Cr Papafotiou said.
In recent years Council has made written submissions to the Royal Commission inquiry into Family Violence and to the development of Victoria’s Gender Equity Strategy.
In 2015 Council identified Family Violence Prevention and Gender Equity as a key Community Grants priority and encouraged community organisations to undertake programs, activities and events to promote and encourage dialogue.
“As a result, Council has supported 29 community led programs, events and activities to help address this issue.”
Cr Papafotiou said Council was proud to celebrate International Women's Day – a global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential.
“I am extremely proud to be one of seven women elected to Brimbank Council of 11 representatives in last year’s elections,” Cr Papafotiou said.
Brimbank City Council hosted the International Women’s Day event in collaboration with the Brimbank Maribyrnong Interfaith Network, at CommUnity Plus in Deer Park.
More than 60 people attended the event which included panellists: Hon Maria Vamvakinou MP, Brimbank Deputy Mayor Cr Georgina Papafotiou, InterAction Director Nivy Balachandran and Transformative community leader Ms Nayran Tabiei.
The event promoted interaction and understanding between individuals and communities of different faiths but also to promote gender equality by celebrating and recognising interfaith women's leadership.
'Be Bold For Change' is the theme for 2017 International Women's Day.