08/03/17 – IWD 2017 forum asks Men to Be Bold for Change

Nordic Model Australia Coalition this year is hosting an International Women’s Day Public Forum on Wednesday 8th March at Parliament House in Hobart from 1-3pm – Men’s Violence to Women – A Broader Conversation.

While International Women’s Day is an occasion to celebrate women’s achievements it is also a time to reflect on the continuing gap in equality between women and men and how women and especially men need to Be Bold for Change and work to end men’s violence to women.

This year the United Nations IWD theme is Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030. Some key targets of the UN’s 2030 Agenda are:
· End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
· Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
· Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Within the women’s human rights community nowhere has the debate on women’s socio-economic inequality and lack of work choices been more contested than with the issue of prostitution and the violence to women inherent in the global sex trade.

Speaker at the forum Bob Pease Professor of Social Work at the University of Tasmania said
“it is men’s demand for paid sex that drives the market and if we are to understand the demand, we must interrogate the men who fuel the demand.”

“If we ignore the demand side of prostitution, we cannot address the responsibility men have for perpetuating the problem.”

Professor Pease will explore how men’s views about women in prostitution can be understood in terms of men’s sense of sexual entitlement, which in turn is related to their conception of masculinity and manhood.

NorMAC National Director Simone Watson said “There are practical things men can do to stop prostitution and sex trafficking and on this IWD 2017 we are especially calling on men to step up and Be Bold for Change.”

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