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We’re the peak body for gender equity, women’s health and the prevention of violence against women

Feminist February #FemFeb2021

Throughout February, GEN VIC is hosting a series of seminars addressing a range of contemporary issues to grow the skills and knowledge of feminists within our communities.

Hear from leading local and international feminists, from countries including Belgium, India and Poland, on issues such as feminist governance, feminist activism and feminist online communities.

To get tickets to these events and get more information, click below!

Do organisations run by women for women operate differently than other organisations? In this thoughtful seminar, we hear from experts on the growing local and international practice of feminist governance, exploring the unique leadership of feminist organisations.  and how they transforming organisational leadership and hierarchies of competition and control.  The seminar will consider the transformative role of feminist governance, as well as challenges boards and executives face when feminist organisational theory clashes with legislative and funding accountabilities.

Guest speakers include:

  • Eleri Butler is CEO of Family Safety Victoria, Victoria's leading agency responding to family violence. Prior to her appointment last year, she was CEO of Welsh Women's Aid, a national peak body preventing sexual and other gendered violence and spent several years managing London based women's organisations. In 2019 Eleri received an Honorary Fellowship from Cardiff University for her work on equality, social justice and human rights and in 2007 Eleri was honoured in the Queen's New Years’ Honour List for services to women and children experiencing domestic violence.
  • Robyn Gregory is the CEO of Women's Health West, one of the oldest feminist organisations in the State of Victoria. Robyn has been at the forefront of advocacy for sexual and reproductive health, gendered violence and women's organising. She oversaw the development of the important Toolkit for Working in a Feminist Organisation.
  • Srilatha Batilwala is a social activist and scholar in grassroots women's organising, working internationally from her home base in India. She is currently Senior Advisor, Knowledge Building for feminist human rights agency CREA (Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action) and is President of the NGO IT for Change. Srilatha has written extensively for international bodies on principles of women's organising and is completing a chapter on feminist governance in collaboration with women across the world, including Gender Equity Victoria's own Tanja Kovac.

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Feminist activism has been the key to women gaining social, economic and political rights. The path to gaining these rights has taken strength, fearless dedication and commitment by women, for women. However, this activism can come at a cost for many women as they experience pushback and backlash from gains made for gender equality. In this seminar we will hear from international speakers to look at feminist activism happening across the globe and to talk about the journey of feminist activism that lies ahead of us.

Guest speakers include:

  • Marta Lempart is a Polish social and political activist, initiator, and one of the leaders of the National Women's Strike which demands women's right to abortion. Marta is one of the leaders of the International Women's Strike, president of the Polish Women's Strike Foundation and co-organizer of the black protest (2016) and one of the leaders of protests against the tightening of abortion laws in Poland (2020).
  • Sharan Burrow is the General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, representing 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories with 332 national affiliates. Previously President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) from 2000 – 2010, Sharan is a passionate advocate and campaigner for social justice, women’s rights, the environment and labour law reforms, and has led union negotiations on major economic reforms and labour rights campaigns in her home country of Australia and globally.

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Digital feminist spaces have changed the way in which feminists can engage and discuss important emerging issues. However, communicating in online spaces can be very difficult to navigate, and can result in ‘in-fighting’ and conflict. This seminar puts forward suggested principles for online feminist engagement, including how to facilitate inclusive discussion in digital feminist spaces to promote productive instances of feminist critique. It will also launch GEN VIC and Monash University’s, “Facilitating inclusive discussion in digital feminist spaces” factsheet.

Guest speakers include:

  • Dr Akane Kanai is a lecturer in Communications & Media Studies with the school of Media, Film and Journalism at Monash University. Akane’s research explores changing practices of gender through media, spanning digital self-representational practices, popular culture and self-branding. She is particularly interested in mediated cultures of femininity, feminism and women's role in contemporary understandings of life, work, and successful selfhood. Her work has appeared in journals such as Feminist Media Studies, Social Media + Society, the European Journal of Cultural Studies and the Journal of Gender Studies.
  • Elissa McKay is a parent and resident of the Dandenong Ranges. She managed communications for several non-profit organisations, both in Australia and overseas, before working as a media adviser for federal government departments, Australian Government Ministers and Senators. She left paid work to begin her family. Elissa holds a Combined Honours degree from the University of Melbourne in Anthropology and Writing.
  • Dr Julia Coffey is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle. Her work uses feminist theory to understand issues of gender, youth, sexuality, health and the body. Her latest book, Everyday Embodiment: Rethinking Youth Body Image will be published in 2021 with Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Karen Pickering is the co-author (with Jane Bennett) of About Bloody Time: The Menstrual Revolution We Have to Have, and the editor of Doing it: Women Tell the Truth About Great Sex. She was the cofounder and director of the first Girls On Film Festival, and the creator and host of long-running live show, Cherchez la Femme, which is returning as a podcast in 2021. You can find out more at patreon.com/KarenPickeringFeminist and follow her on Instagram @KarenPickering.

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Join Gender Equity Victoria (GEN VIC), the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA)Australian Community Managers (ACM), and a panel of experts for the launch of GEN VIC’s Enhancing Online Safety for Women in the Media project.

Women working in the media receive abuse online simply for doing their jobs and being women with an audience. This abuse can be extremely traumatic and spill over into offline violence. GEN VIC’s 2019 report Don’t Read the Comments found that women journalists needed much more support from their workplaces and publishers to prevent harassment from driving them off social media and away from journalism.

Together with the MEAA and ACM we have developed three resources targeted at media organisations to help them support their women journalists:

1. Moderation guidelines with a gender and intersectional lens.

2. Workplace support guidelines for supporting women journalists.

3. Cybersafety awareness and policy development training for HR and management in media organisations.

Moderator

  • Bhakthi Puvanenthiran - Editor, ABC Everyday

Panelists

  • Rosalie O'Neale - Manager, eSafety Women, Office of the eSafety Commissioner
  • Karen Percy - Journalist and Co-Vice President of MEAA's media section
  • Dr Julie Posetti - Global Director of Research, International Center for Journalists
  • Wendy Tuohy - Journalist, The Age

Book now to secure your place!

This project has been generously supported by the Victorian Government's Office for Women.

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