Violence against women is a serious global problem, affecting all countries around the world, including Australia. It causes immeasurable trauma to women, families and communities and is an abuse of basic human rights.
In Melanesia and East Timor, violence against women is severe, pervasive and constrains development. The impacts of violence against women include escalating health care, social services, policing and justice system costs and restrict women's participation in political, social and economic life.
In every country where violence against women is high, cultural and economic factors play a critical role in promoting and condoning violence as a legitimate way to resolve conflict. The poor status of women is a major obstacle to reducing violence against them.
AusAID's Office of Development Effectiveness has undertaken a study to assess the effectiveness of methods currently being used to address violence against women and girls in five of Australia's neighbouring countries: Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and East Timor. The result is a package of reports that outlines the perspectives and hopes of a broad spectrum of Melanesian and East Timorese society.
The study used a participatory approach to gather input from over 700 individuals from government and civil society. The effectiveness of local and international approaches were assessed using this approach and the result is a framework for action that seeks to reduce the incidence of violence against women and improve support services.
The three key areas identified in the framework are: increasing women's access to justice; increasing women's access to support services; and, preventing violence.
Documents:East Timor Country Supplement [PDF 300KB]