OCT 28, 2015

More than 140 women have spent the past two days in Alice Springs discussing family and domestic violence and gender issues and identifying ways forward at the Putting Gender on the Agenda Forum.

The Forum was hosted by Tangentyere Council in partnership with the Alice Springs Women’s Shelter to discuss the disproportionate impact violence has on Aboriginal women and the evidence that shows the primary driver of violence is gender inequality.

Tangentyere Council Women’s Committee co-ordinator Barbara Shaw congratulated the women for sharing their stories and experiences over the past two days.

“At times it was very emotional as women shared their personal stories but the learning and support for each other on an individual and a service delivery level is something we are taking out of the Forum and will build on,” Ms Shaw said.

“Having a range of service providers attend enabled valuable sharing of information and feedback about what is working, what still needs work and where the gaps are.

“Aboriginal women took the lead in the conversation, presenting information, talking about programs and discussing the issues that are impacting them in dealing with family violence in the community.”

Alice Springs Women’s Shelter Executive Officer Dale Wakefield said the Forum had built a broader shared understanding of family violence issues in Alice Springs.

“Women have been very generous in sharing their experience and insights with the aim of improving services and making our community a safer place for women and children,” Ms Wakefield said.

“A very clear message to come out of the Forum was the need to have safe spaces where women can continue to talk about the issues around gender and family violence and propose solutions and action.

“The need to improve women and girl’s safety around the use of new technology, in identifying and preventing bullying and increasing personal safety in the use of social media and the internet was earmarked as an area for future action.

“The importance of ensuring LGBTI issues are recognised and incorporated in service delivery was another important issue raised at the Forum, as was the need to make sure the voices and experiences of remote women are heard in planning for the future.

“I’d like to thank all the women who took part and I’m confident this Forum will be the first of many valuable partnerships and actions where we work together to make a safer community.”