Equity at Council

theDVproject:2650      

Promoting and normalising equity and respect in Wagga Wagga

Stakeholder research and mapping conducted by the Wagga Women’s Health Centre (WWHC) in 2016 and 2017, found many Wagga Wagga residents have a poor understanding of and hold attitudes supportive of domestic violence. Not surprisingly, domestic violence rates are 29.4% higher here than for the rest of the state

The Centre received funding from the NSW Government’s Domestic and Family Violence Innovation Fund in 2018 to implement a gender equity project. As the key project partner, the funding is being administered through Council to lead a primary prevention program with a long term plan to reduce the incidence of domestic violence.

Our project focuses on changing attitudes and behaviours particularly those held towards women. We are building a respectful and equitable community which in turn will reduce the incidence of domestic and family violence.

The project is being rolled out in three stages

  • Within our Council – We’re working to become an equitable workplace. We’ve bench-marked our current workplace situation with an equity survey and we’ll be rolling out relevant strategies and training, as well as developing new policies and processes so Council becomes a leader in equity and respect.
  • Working with community groups – finding out from them what they are doing about equity and respect is crucial. And we can work alongside them to promote and normalise gender equality.
  • You – Our community is our greatest ally. So reaching as many people as possible, our aim is to raise an awareness within the community about the importance of equity and respect in preventing domestic violence.

What does equity and respect look like?

It's complex, but we have to start somewhere. Here’s a few things we can all do and say:

Do:

  • Look at your own behaviour and language. Do you treat men and women differently? Do you expect them to act differently? If the answer is yes, then ask yourself why.
  • Call out bad behaviour – it’s not okay to wolf whistle, to say ‘he kicks like a girl!’ or to leer at a woman. So if you see this happening call the person on it.

Say:

  • “Hey mate – this isn’t the 50s.”
  • “You know, sexist jokes aren’t funny!”
  • “What is she wearing? They’re called clothes."

For more examples of what we can say and do as bystanders visit OurWatch, which has been established to drive nationwide change in the culture, behaviours and power imbalances that lead to violence against women and their children.

We can all do more to prevent violence against women and children, and we can start the conversations on how to do this now. So lets take a stand.

For more information you can contact Council's Equity team on equity@wagga.nsw.gov.au