01/12/08 PS News: Violence report strikes a blow - Australian aid agency, AusAID, has published a report into violence against women in the Asia-Pacific region.
Launched by the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith and the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, the report, Violence Against Women in Melanesia and East Timor, revealed high levels of domestic violence and sexual abuse in the region.
“Violence against women is a serious human rights issue, causing trauma to women, their families and their communities across the region,” Mr Smith said.
AusAID exposes women’s plight
“It also poses significant development challenges.”
He said the report provided a framework to address the issues by increasing women’s access to justice and support services and changing attitudes and practices that encouraged and condoned violence.
Ms Plibersek said Australia was taking on a leadership role in the region, having now completed almost all of the necessary steps to accede to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
“Acceding to the Optional Protocol will send a strong message that Australia is serious about promoting gender equality and that we are prepared to be judged by international standards,” she said.
“It will also add credibility to our offers of support to women across the region – such as those suffering high rates of domestic violence and sexual assault in East Timor and Melanesia.”
Ms Plibersek said the Australian Government would use the report to build partnerships with local and regional stakeholders to address violence against women.
A copy of the report was available from www.ode.ausaid.gov.au
Original source: http://www.psnews.com.au/Page_psn14913.html
Image: An East Timor police officer comforts a woman in distress.