Australia envoy urges global cooperation to end gender-based violence

05/24/2022 07:32 PM
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Jenny Bloomfield, head of the Australian Office in Taipei. File photo courtesy of Taoyuan City government
Jenny Bloomfield, head of the Australian Office in Taipei. File photo courtesy of Taoyuan City government

Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Australia's top envoy to Taiwan called for global efforts to address gender inequality and gender-based violence at the opening of an international conference in Taipei on Tuesday.

"Gender-based violence is rooted in gender inequality, harmful norms, and the abuse of power," said Jenny Bloomfield, head of the Australian Office in Taipei, at the opening of the two-day event about tackling gender-based violence that also allows virtual participation from around the world.

Bloomfield, who spoke on behalf of seven foreign missions in Taiwan that co-hosted the conference with Taiwan's government, said gender-based violence was "a serious violation of human rights" with "devastating" consequences and that countries around the world should work together to address the problem.

"Ending gender-based violence requires a national and a global effort from governments, workplaces, schools, communities, and individuals working together to change social norms, attitudes, and behaviors to eliminate gender inequality," Bloomfield said.

She described the Taipei conference as part of the global effort to tackle the problem.

Bloomfield noted that intimate partner violence and cyber-violence against women and girls in many countries had increased significantly during the COVID-19 pandemic, while the rate of abuse was much higher for younger women, women with disabilities, and those who identify as LGBTIQ.

According to Taiwan's Executive Yuan, the two-day conference is part of the Global Cooperation and Training Framework (GCTF) initiative, and features the most countries and partners involved as co-hosts, including the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the European Union, among all GCTF events since the initiative was established in 2015.

The GCTF initiative was launched by Taiwan and the U.S. that year but later expanded to include other partners such as Japan and Australia.

Addressing the event, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that Taiwan looked forward to working with the governments and experts taking part in the event to find ways to better tackle gender-based violence.

Following the opening ceremony, two keynote speeches were delivered by Jessica Stern, U.S. special envoy to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons, and Stella Ronner-Grubačić, ambassador for gender and diversity of the European External Action Service, respectively, at the conference.

Premier Su Tseng-chang. Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan
Premier Su Tseng-chang. Photo courtesy of the Executive Yuan

The two-day event will also bring together government officials, scholars, and representatives from civil society groups for a series of virtual and in-person panel discussions on how to stop gender-based violence.

(By Teng Pei-ju)


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