Australia’s largest retail trade body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has praised the joint initiative of federal, state and territory governments in refreshing the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children.
ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the landmark plan provides the blueprint for ending violence against women and children in Australia with a principle-based, whole of government response.
“Violence against women and children is abhorrent and has no place in modern-day life. As one of Australia’s largest private sector employers of women, the retail sector is committed to efforts to stamp out the scourge of domestic violence and the ARA stands ready to support government on this critically important mission,” Mr Zahra said.
“The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children is aspirational in its vision and pragmatic in its approach. It will empower the whole-of-government response needed to address the economic, social and health challenges that are key drivers of domestic violence, put in place programs to reduce the instances of violence, and strengthen measures to support victim-survivors.
“The plan confirms the enormity of the task at hand while also highlighting the positive role that the business community can play in delivering comprehensive cross-sector support programs that provide retailers with the path forward to addressing and eliminating gender-based violence.
“Importantly, it recognises the role that workplaces play in eradicating gender-based violence, and guides industry on providing dependable support for those experiencing these traumatic events,” Mr Zahra said.
The strategy also reviews what changes could be made to strengthen the justice system, social support network and structure of the Australian economy to ensure those experiencing gender-based violence can secure the assistance they need.
“We welcome the commitment from multiple levels of government to address this issue of epidemic proportions. In concert with paid domestic violence leave, these measures are in-line with the ARA’s Position Statement for Gender Equality that specifically called out the need to address violence towards women and establish leave provisions to support victims of domestic and family violence.
“Moving forward, we’ll need clarity around the initiatives that will be designed and implemented to meet the plan’s ambitious vision to end domestic violence within a generation. We’ll also need to understand more about the funding and support mechanisms from government, but the national plan is an important next step in understanding, addressing and eliminating violence against women and children,” Mr Zahra said.
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About us: The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is the oldest, largest and most diverse national retail body, representing a $400 billion sector that employs 1.3 million Australians and is the largest private sector employer in the country. As Australia’s peak retail body, representing more than 120,000 retail shop fronts and online stores, the ARA informs, advocates, educates, protects and unifies our independent, national and international retail community. To learn more about ARA’s exclusive member benefits and more, visit retail.org.au