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How different forms of inequality contribute to violence against women

2 minutes

People experience different forms of power, privilege and oppressionbased on their identity and social status. 

Women do not only experience sexism. They may also experience racism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, colonialism, ageism and more. These multiple forms of discrimination interact and intersect, so that women are not only unequal to men, there are also inequalities between women. 

Power, privilege and oppression are reinforced by social systems and structures — such as health, education, welfare and legal systems. 

What does this mean for the prevention of violence against women?

Gender inequality is a necessary condition for violence against women. But it is not the only, or most prominent, factor in every context.  

 The gendered drivers of violence against women are often experienced in combination with other forms of structural inequality and discrimination. This helps to explain why there are different rates and types of violence experienced by different women.  

Women who face multiple forms of discrimination may experience violence more frequently, or of greater severity.

What you can do

  • look at how other forms of structural inequality and discrimination intersect with gender inequalities to exacerbate violence 
  • engage and partner with other sectors or organisations, such as disability or migration support services (especially those for women), to ensure they have the specialist knowledge needed to do prevention work effectively 
  • work to transform norms, structures and practices at the same time, to create gender equality for all. 

Prevention of violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women

Preventing violence against women from a diverse range of communities and backgrounds


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