Fair Agenda Blog

Fair Agenda are excited to invite our Melbourne supporters to a special pre-release screening of the new film Suffragette at Cinema Nova at 7pm, Thursday 10th December! (Click here to buy tickets)

 

Following the story of a young laundress speaking out against a broken system - Suffragette is a gripping film that shows the power of women's campaigns and movements to transform our society (if you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out here). It's the first feature film to focus on the story of the foot soldiers of the Suffragette movement - and we're very excited to share it with you!

The stories we tell are important. And all too often the stories told in our cinemas aren't about women. In fact in 2014, research showed that women made up just 12% of protagonists in the top-grossing films of 2014; and only 30% of speaking characters. And amongst the 2015 Oscar Best Picture nominees, only 2 of the films even passed the Bechdel test.

That's why we're so excited there's now a feature film about suffragettes. That's also why it's important we acknowledge Suffragette only tells the story of one group of women - and it doesn't share the story of women of colour. Women like Sophia Duleep Singh, a pioneering suffragette who marched alongside Emmeline Pankhurst in protests outside parliament, who was thrown into prison for taking part in the 'No vote, no tax' campaign, and who even threw herself in front of the Prime Minister's car.

We hope you'll join us at this special screening event, and post screening discussion with our special guests Celeste Liddle and Dr Clare Wright, where we'll chat about:

  • The history of the suffragette and feminist movement in Australia - including the fight to recognise Aboriginal women's right to vote, which continued until 1965, 
  • The ongoing fight for women's rights and campaigns to drive change in Australia right now, and
  • Lessons we can learn from the Suffragettes and other women who have shaped our history.

Funds raised from the night will go towards Fair Agenda's campaigns for a fair and equal future for women.

Buy your tickets here.

 

 

 

Written by Renee Carr
28 November 2015

Today is White Ribbon Day, but instead of committing the additional funds needed to to actually address the family violence crisis, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and new Social Services Minister Christian Porter held a tone-deaf press conference that was long on rhetoric and short on substance – vaguely re-stating their existing, insufficient commitments and leaving out any mention of the current funding crisis limiting family violence services.

Put simply: this is a wildly insufficient response to the family violence crisis, and means the Government is choosing to deliberately leave women in danger.

Most of the critical family violence and prevention and response services fall under Minister Porter’s portfolio - which means that his choice as the new Minister is to fully fund family violence services - or to continue leaving thousands of women without access to the specialist support they need to escape their abusers.

This morning shows he doesn’t yet get it.

Can you take a few minutes to send Minister Porter a quick personal email and build the pressure for him to do the right thing and commit full funding for family violence services?

Today is the new Minister's first big moment in spotlight on the biggest hot-button issue in his portfolio. Tonight he’s up for a grilling on a special family violence-focussed episode of Q&A, straight after the second instalment of the investigative doco Hitting Home on ABC. There’s no doubt he’ll have to field tough questions on this topic. Let’s make sure he’s feeling the pressure from all directions.

Now is the perfect opportunity to make sure our message – that nothing except full-funding is good enough – is all that he hears, all night long.

We’re a part of something really big right now. National outrage about the family violence crisis is growing. Last night Liberal MP Sarah Henderson broke down in Parliament talking about a friend who was murdered in a family violence incident,[1] tomorrow night another hard-hitting documentary Call Me Dad airs on ABC, and Rosie Batty will be calling for further action in the Victorian Parliament.

Yesterday, Fair Agenda members kicked off a powerful letter writing campaign to build champions within the government lobbying budget decision makers internally. Today we need to ramp up our efforts and make sure Minister Porter knows he’ll be held accountable on this issue.

Together, with a big community backlash and working contacts in the media, we can help build the pressure o the Minister to commit increased funding for these potentially life-saving services. 

Can you help make this coordinated effort even bigger by sending a personal email to Minister Porter? Click here for the Minister's contact deatils and tips to get started.


The political establishment needs to know that anything less than full funding for services is unacceptable, and we won’t let it slide.

-References-

1. Liberal MP Sarah Henderson makes emotional plea to break 'cycle of domestic violence' after friend's death, ABC News, 25 November 2015.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.auIn an emergency, call 000. -

Written by Renee Carr
25 November 2015

To change this horrifying reality, we need to make the community call for action around this issue so loud the government can’t afford to ignore it.

To help make that possible, Ethical Jobs are matching all donations to Fair Agenda’s campaign for full funding of family violence services, up to $10,000!

We know the federal government are already considering next year’s budget – deciding which areas they will prioritise in spending negotiations. That’s why we need to step up our campaign efforts now; and build the community pressure behind the call for full funding of family violence services.

We’ve already proven that when we work together and speak out about this issue, we can influence funding decisions.

Fair Agenda’s campaign efforts on budget night this year helped secure $4 million of additional funding for critical counselling service 1800 RESPECT. Then, in September, when new Prime Minister Turnbull announced the government’s new funding package, FairAgenda was able to work with services to provide critical information on the thousands of women still unable to access the service support they need to safely escape their abuser. Together, we made sure this information continued to cut through in key media coverage.

Now we have to work together to ramp up the campaign up again. And we have a plan:

  • Work with family violence survivors and experts to keep this issue in the headlines;
  • Put pressure on key decision-makers to commit the funding needed to tackle the national crisis;
  • Support Fair Agenda members to mobilise in their local communities and put this on the agenda for their local MP; and
  • Mobilise in big, bold actions that make this issue impossible to ignore.

But Fair Agenda needs your support to help make this plan a reality.

Fair Agenda needs to raise a further $20,000 to make the critical next phase of the campaign possible.

Can you donate $25 or more to help make sure our community can keep building the pressure behind the call for full funding of family violence services? Your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar by our friends at Ethical Jobs up until 31 December 2015.

 

--If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.--

Written by Renee Carr
25 November 2015

Today outgoing Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself admitted: the challenge of domestic violence is still yet to be addressed by his government. 

"The Abbott-led government left women in danger -- deciding not to provide the additional funding needed to ensure all women in need can access family violence services." says Renee Carr, Executive Director of Fair Agenda. 

"Those decisions mean that thousands of women taking the brave step of trying to escape an abuser are being left with nowhere to turn, in a time they're at great risk." 

"Prime Minister Turnbull now has an opportunity to change that - by providing the resources needed to help women escape abuse, and to stop further violence." 

"This year more than 2,800 women are expected to be turned away from emergency accommodation services like women's refuges - services that need an additional $34 million a year in federal funding." says Ms Carr.  

"At the same time, Community Legal Centres, where a third of the work is family violence related, are being forced to turn away more than 150,000 people a year due to lack of funding."

"Family Violence Prevention Legal Services need an additional $28 million to ensure they can assist people who need their services.

"More than 36,000 voters have joined the campaign calling for action on this issue, and polling has shown that most Australians consider family violence to be as much or more of a threat than terrorism. It's clear that the new Prime Minister has a public mandate for strong action. The question is - will he too decide to leave women in harm's way?" says Ms Carr.

For further comment or information on the family violence funding gap

Contact: Renee Carr, Fair Agenda

E: media@fairagenda.org

M: 0435 597 976

Written by Renee Carr
15 September 2015

The PM's support for a target to make the party less 'blokey' is important progress, and it could open the door to meaningful change. Or it could end in more business as usual - with talented women left “knocking on the door of the cabinet”.

The Prime Minister has indicated he’ll be looking to an internal Party report for guidance on the specific targets and measures the Party should adopt to become less 'blokey'.[2] It’s critical that the Party commits to strong targets. And there’s an opportunity for us to influence that. 

The report on this topic is being prepared by a team that includes members of parliament Minister Michaelia Cash and Senator Linda Reynolds. Can you help show them that voters want to see women equally represented in the Liberal ranks, and support strong measures to ensure that happens sooner rather than later? Click here to send them a quick personal email.

Several senior Liberal women have already spoken about the importance of targeting equality, including the NSW Liberals Deputy Leader Gladys Berejiklian,[3] It’s critical we show they have community support on this.

Other Liberal women have shared specific measures they believe could address barriers to women’s representation. Dr Sharman Stone MP has suggested the Party require equal number of female and male candidates at every pre-selection contest,[4] and Gladys Berejiklian has suggested that all parties set targets for the number of women pre-selected in winnable upper and lower house seats at every election until they achieve equal representation.[5] They’re both good suggestions, and ones we should throw our support behind.

There’s no doubt that the discussion about exact targets will be hotly contested within the Party. That's why it's critical those advocating for strong measures and targets can show they have public support. 


-References-

1.&2. Tony Abbott supports targets for female representation in Liberal Party as report highlights lack of women, ABC News, 15 August 2015.

3&5. NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian calls for target of 50% women MPs, SMH, 18 August 2015.

4. Sharman Stone says quotas for women are needed, AFR, 28 July 2015.

Written by Renee Carr
25 August 2015
Categories: representation · women
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