Today, the 25th of November marks the International Day for the Elimination of violence against women.
Gender-Based violence is sexual, physical and psychological violence. It encompasses all walks of life from childhood marriages, female genital mutilation, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, sexual violence and harassment.
Did you know?
Helpline calls linked to gender-based violence significantly increased during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Indigenous communities and cultures have suffered dramatically from the impacts of colonisation. They faced injustices that included mass killings, displacement from their lands, and relocation to reserves and missions. Cultural practices were strictly prohibited, and many were lost during the time. Colonisation meant loss, disease, killings and violence.
Before colonisation, the Australian Aboriginal people lived in small family groups with significant territorial boundaries, linked together by larger language groups. They had complex kinship systems and rules on social interactions; in education, spiritual development and resource management, ceremonies, cultures, traditions and knowledge of their environment. Their cultures were strong and well developed, and children were well nurtured and protected.
Aboriginal women were not considered inferior in Australia's pre-colonial society but were respected and played a key role in their cultures and communities. Europeans forced a male-dominated (patriarchy) system of government and society, which disadvantaged the Indigenous women. Therefore, the law deemed women not to have rights; to vote, own property, and go into contracts, which was reflected in various countries' government policies that openly discriminated against Indigenous women.
Today, First Nations women still suffer exploitation, violence and abuse, and there should be critical avenues for this epidemic to be addressed with the government. They need your voice and support to speak out against gendered violence.
A brooch made in memory of my Indigenous grandmother and to all the Indigenous women in the world who have suffered from violence.
(Image: A brown beauty with flowing black hair on a rocking horse with a Koala as her campanion)
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