Today marks the first day of 16 Days of Action to raise awareness around gender-based violence against women and girls and calls for global action to galvanise advocacy efforts and share knowledge.

This United Nations-backed event is especially relevant during the COVID-19-related lockdowns during 2020, with reports showing an alarming increase in the prevalence of violence against women. The 2020 campaign has a dedicated focus on informal women workers whose lives and livelihoods have been acutely impacted by COVID-19 and the unprecedented economic crisis that has followed.

In Australia, violence against women is called many different things, including domestic violence, family violence, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment and sexual assault.

In Australia, on average[1]:

  • one woman a week is murdered by her current or former partner.
  • 1 in 3 Australian women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
  • 1 in 5 Australian women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15.
  • Almost 10 women a day are hospitalised for assault injuries perpetrated by a spouse or domestic partner

The AEU strongly supports the rights of all women and girls in schools, TAFEs and preschools, whether they are teachers, principals, students or support staff, to work or learn in a supportive environment which is free from violence.

AEU members can support the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence by:

  • wearing orange to show support for the campaign
  • hosting an orange event in your workplace to share information and raise awareness of the 16 days of action within your school community
  • sharing information and raise awareness about violence against women and the 16 Days of Action on social media
  • learning more about violence against women, including Respectful Relationships Education in Schools program
  • Join union campaigns on gender-based violence such as the ACTU’s ‘We Won’t Wait’ campaign

For more information, follow these links:


[1] https://www.ourwatch.org.au/quick-facts/