News & Events1. 2013 State Budget Submission
2. Board Training Sessions
3. Members Week - May 2013
4. Counting cost of social even...
5. Women inspired to reach for ...
6. Leadership Helping Hand
7. Nicole Understands Challenge
8. Workers adopt new life cycle
9. Looks do matter in the offic...
10. View Recent | View Events
WOMAN OF THE WEEK
22 April Louisa Wall
Power of Campaigns: Past Campaigns
Domestic Violence Death Review Process
Domestic violence death review processes:
- investigate the context surrounding the death, risk factors, points of intervention and service responses and effectiveness
- review historical processes and incidents involving domestic violence to identify patterns and possible preventative signs
- recommend preventative strategies and policy and law reform.
Domestic violence death review processes currently operate in Canada and the US, and have recently been introduced in Victoria and New South Wales. The DV sector in South Australia would like the State Government to introduce a Death Review process in SA.
Read the YWCA of Adelaide position paper on DV Death Reviews here.
In October 2010 for YWCA’s Week Without Violence YWCA of Adelaide hosted a forum on DV Death Reviews with keynote speaker Betty Green from the NSW DV Coalition.
You can listen to Betty’s speech here
The powerful documentary ‘Telling Amy’s Story’ screened at the Forum.
Here is what people are saying about it:
“Telling Amy’s Story gives a powerful insight into the way so many seemingly isolated things can together build a picture of a young woman in trouble, if only people took the time to see them. The more people watch this film, the better.” - Lucas de Boer, YACSA
"Although a difficult and tragic story to hear 'Telling Amy's Story' is an insightful documentary. It demonstrates strongly why it is so important that domestic violence related deaths are examined; it also shows the devastating impact that domestic violence can have on women in their workplaces". - Bridget Partridge, Working Women's Centre
“Telling Amy’s Story was moving, powerful and compelling viewing from the moment it began. The upsetting part was that the ending was predictable from the moment it began too. The film provided me with further insight into the terrifying experience of domestic violence and why a DV death review process can make a significant impact on the community response to this absolutely preventable form of violence.” - Belinda Lake, YWCA of Adelaide
If you would like to borrow a copy of the documentary, please contact YWCA of Adelaide on 8203 9400. We invite you to make a donation to YWCA of Adelaide’s Advocacy program when you borrow it.
Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls
In May 2010, Liberal MLC Michelle Lensink introduced a Bill in South Australian Parliament to amend the Classification Act to legislate for PG and M ratings for girls’ magazines. This was only seven short months after the YWCA of Adelaide first raised this policy strategy as one way of addressing the early sexualisation of girls.
On July 21 2010 the Bill passed in the Legislative Council (Upper House). You can read all Hansard relating to this Bill here.
Girls’ magazines are currently unclassified, and the industry is self regulated. If this Bill passes in the Lower House, South Australia will lead the way with new magazine Classifications designed to alert parents to the content hopefully encouraging them to make decisions about whether they allow their children to read them, or reading with their children and discussing the content.
For contact details of your local Lower House Member of Parliament, and all Upper House Members, please look at this document.
The sexualisation of children occurs in two ways:
- Children are exposed to sexualised messaging which are intended for an adult audience
- Children are themselves presented in sexualised ways in media targeted to children, or to which children are exposed.
There is growing evidence in Australia and overseas that sexualisation of children is having real and lasting health impacts. The 2007 American Psychological Association's ‘Task force on the sexualisation of girls’ has reported that "ample evidence indicates that sexualisation has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, and attitudes and beliefs”. The research indicates that viewing material that is sexually objectifying is a contributing factor for body dissatisfaction, eating disorders, low self-esteem and depressive effect as well as physical health problems in high school aged girls and in young women.
“Each month twenty per cent of six-year-old girls and almost half of ten and eleven year-old girls read at least one of the most popular girls’ magazines – Barbie Magazine, Total Girl and Disney Girl. These magazines teach their young readers to dance in sexually provocative ways, to idolise highly sexualised young women such as Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Lindsay Lohan, and to have crushes on adult male celebrities – all while they are still in primary school.” (Corporate Pedophilia, 2006)
Research by UK children’s publisher, Egmont, found that parents see children’s magazines as trustworthy and educational.
More than 300 people responded to the 2010 YWCA of Adelaide survey about the sexualisation of girls.
- 96.9% think the number of sexualised messages that girls are exposed to is increasing
- 88.1% had seen a sexualised message which concerned them in the week prior to completing the survey
- 38% believe girls are first exposed to potentially harmful sexualised images prior to age 5
- 53.2% believe girls are first exposed to potentially harmful sexualised images between ages 6-11
- Music video clips, advertising, and girls magazines were listed as the three main media sources of concern regarding the sexualisation of girls
- Reality TV shows were scored as of least concern regarding the sexualisation of girls
To view the full survey results please click here
When asked to list health impacts which could result from girls being exposed to sexualised messages, the following featured in survey responses:
- eating disorders
- negative body image
- poor self esteem
- early sexual activity and increased risk of assault
- increased incidence of STI’s and unwanted pregnancy
- mental health issues
Other responses included self harm, unhealthy relationships, increased risk taking behaviours and use of alcohol and other drugs.
89.9% of survey respondents support greater regulation to prevent the sexualisation of girls
74.3% support the introduction of a PG type classification system for girls’ magazines
See YWCA of Adelaide policy statement on PG rating here
YWCA of Adelaide’s Northern Services Street Team (aged 12-15) became Magazine Detectives for International No Diet Day 2010 taking a close look at tween magazines.
They thought the overall themes of the magazines included: fashion, gossip, beauty, movies, and celebrity teens. When asked about the impression they get of girls from the magazines they said: girls should follow trends, they are famous, pretty, perfect, fake, and obsessed with fashion.
Regarding the PG rating, they believe children under age 10 should read these magazines with supervision from parents or caregivers. They also commented on wanting their parents to read with them. Their own warning for tween magazines is: WARNING: do not believe everything you read or see
Following the release of the Proposed National Strategy on Body Image, given to Federal Minister for Youth Kate Ellis in October 2009, ABC TV program Hungry Beast prepared this segment on tween magazines. The segment is accessible on our website, with permission of ABC TV. You can view it here
60.1% of survey respondents said they would not know who to complain to if they saw an advertisement that concerned them
91.2% said they were not confident that a regulatory body would address their concerns if they did make a complaint
For information about where and how to make complaints, go to
Australian Communications and Media Authority website here http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/1001/pc=CONTACT_COMPLAINTS_OVIEW
Or visit the Young Media Australia website here http://www.youngmedia.org.au/codes/complaints.htm#guidelines
You can also join the consumer advocacy movement at Collective Shout here http://www.collectiveshout.org/
Good news! A woman who answered our survey called to share some of her tips. If a petrol station or supermarket sells magazines that she does not want her children to see when they walk in, she calls them and asks: “If I spend $400 a week at your supermarket, and I am no longer going to shop here because of the magazines you sell, how many magazines will you have to sell this week to make up for my $400 you have now lost?” In May 2010 she was concerned about a certain magazine that was on sale in a supermarket near her home. She contacted the parent company, who contacted the franchisee, and the magazine was removed from sale. All it took was one phone call.
YWCA of Adelaide held a public forum “Too much, too young: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls” on 22 October, 2009 featuring a panel discussion with author, commentator and advocate Melinda Tankard Reist, Rita Princi - Child, Adolescent and Family Psychologist, and Anne Bunning - International Gender Specialist and Chief Executive YWCA of Adelaide.
Melinda spoke about girls growing up in a toxic, sexualised environment that harms girls’ health and threatens their wellbeing.
Rita spoke about the psychological effects sexualized messaging can have on girls. Some products and messages are targeted to girls under six, an age where the lines of reality and fantasy are blurred. Rita explained that young girls will mimic the images and behaviours without fully understanding them. Rita highlighted the important role of parents and other significant adults in making judgements for young girls - as they do not have the knowledge and understanding at such a young age. She stated that parents should also demonstrate that healthy relationships are built on trust, respect and love. With positive adult role models, young girls will have the support that will allow them to have fun and just be kids.
Anne focused on empowerment and practical action. While acknowledging that other media sources of sexualised messaging remain significant policy issues, particularly advertising and music video shows, Anne argued that a focus on classification of girls’ magazines would be a meaningful way for the state government to provide leadership in the national debate, while acting to balance these different interests.
View parts of the Forum presentations below
What is the YWCA of Adelaide doing?
YWCA of Adelaide is campaigning via its membership, the media, events and awareness about the early sexualisation of girls, running gender aware youth programs, and leadership programs for young women.
You can join the YWCA of Adelaide Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls email list here
What can you do?
- You can be selective about what you and members of your family choose to read, watch, listen to, and wear
- You can make a complaint if you see or hear something that concerns you about the sexualisation of girls
- You can be a consumer advocate and make choices about where you shop
- You can increase your knowledge of the issues. Recommended reading:
Getting Real, Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls
Edited by Melinda Tankard Reist
Princesses and Pornstars
By Emily Maguire
Female Chauvinist Pigs, Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
By Ariel Levy
YWCA of Adelaide’s Priority Election Issues
In the lead up to the state election, the YWCA of Adelaide met with representatives from government, opposition and other parties to discuss young women’s priority election issues which were highlighted in a statewide consultation with over 1000 women and girls. These issues are:
- Domestic Violence Death Review Process
- Sexualisation of Children and Magazine Classifications
- Women in Leadership
On Wednesday 10th March, the YWCA of Adelaide hosted a pre-election forum with Tammy Jennings (the Greens), the Hon. Michelle Lensink (Lib), the Hon. Robert Brokenshire (Family First), the Hon. David Winderlich (Ind), Jeannie Walker (Democrats) and Minister Gail Gago (ALP).
The forum was titled 114 Reasons to Vote, denoting the 114 years since women first voted in South Australia.
Dozens of young women heard each representative address the YWCA of Adelaide Policy Platform, our election priority issues, and used the opportunity to directly speak to their potential political representatives about issues such as reproductive rights, equality and safety.
At the forum Minister for the Status of Women Gail Gago announced the appointment of one more person in the Coroner’s Office to monitor and coordinate investigation of domestic violence homicides.
Listen to the thoughts of young women who attended the 114 Reasons to Vote Forum:
National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week
September 2-9, 2009
The YWCA of Adelaide is continuing our campaign to promote positive self image. During National Body Image and Eating Disorders Awareness Week, we launched “Free to Be Me” – a positive self image booklet. We also focused on fad diets with a positive action - shredding fad diet books on the steps of Parliament House. Copies of Free to Be Me are available for download on our website here. If you would like to place a bulk order, please contact us on 8203 9400 or email email@example.com
Key diet statistics:
- Calls to the eating disorders counseling service ACEDA have risen 400 per cent between 2002 and 2009, with 90 per cent of callers aged 17 and over, and 80 per cent of calls coming from girls and women.
- A YWCA of Adelaide self image survey reveals a majority of respondents start dieting between the ages of 11 and 16 and that there has been a more than ten per cent increase in the use of fad diet techniques including the use of laxatives, diet pills and shakes between 2002 and 2009.
- Dieting is one of four key risk factors in the development of eating disorders along with poor body image, low self esteem and perfectionism.
- Over three quarters (81%) of respondents to the YWCA of Adelaide self image survey said they know someone with an eating disorder.
- The YWCA of Adelaide self image survey also showed women in Adelaide who have dieted: 2002 - 54% 2009 - 81%
- Women in Adelaide who have clothes that are too small in their wardrobe that they plan to ‘diet into’ 2002 - 45% 2009 - 67%
- Women in Adelaide who are unhappy with their body size 2002 -75%
2009 - 74%
What must be done to stop fad dieting?
- Both the YWCA of Adelaide and ACEDA welcome the Federal Government’s Preventative Health Taskforce recommendation to regulate the diet industry. We support the Dietitians Association of Australia call for all commercial diet programs to be assessed by a body of experts similar to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which assesses drugs for safety and efficacy.
- We are also eager to see Minister Kate Ellis’ proposed National Media and Industry Code of Conduct on Body Image and are particularly concerned to ensure the issue of glamorisation of severely underweight models or celebrities is adequately addressed.
- Get a copy of “Free to be me”: Designed for 12-18 year olds, the 24 page booklet features tools, tips and activities that encourage young people to identify and celebrate positive self image.
Which diets are you calling fad diets?
- We support the Dietitians Association of Australia call for all commercial diet programs to be assessed by a body of experts similar to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which assesses drugs for safety and efficacy. For this action, we have allowed individuals to self select their own version of what constitutes a fad diet.
What should the state government do 6 months out from an election?
- Commit to universal media literacy and positive self image programs in schools
What can you do?
- Enjoy a wide variety of foods
- Ensure you have balance in your life – food, exercise, health and happiness
- Look for magazines that make you feel good about yourself.
- Question whether images you see are real.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder and want help, contact ACEDA on 8297 4011.
If you would like to get involved with YWCA of Adelaide programs, services or campaigns call 8203 9400.
YWCA of Adelaide celebrated International No Diet Day on 6 May 2009 with our Celebrate You! Campaign. Each year, the YWCA of Adelaide runs a campaign to support a healthy self image for women and girls. In 2009, we ran a multimedia campaign.
This campaign aims to:
- Capture a more honest reflection of the people we see every day;
- Raise awareness about healthy body image;
- Have an immediate and lasting impact on self esteem and
- Help generate an awareness of the way girls and women are often portrayed in the mainstream media.
Body Image Survey
A YWCA of Adelaide survey released for International No Diet Day, 6 May, shows that 75% young women are still unhappy with their body image and are taking drastic measures to become more confident in their own skin. For detailed information
Kate Ceberano voted one of the most popular role models for women in South Australia by survey respondents
Below is Kate's response to this honour.
"First of all I’m so delighted that the outcome of the poll has put me up next to my idol Kate Winslet and secondly that the women of South Australia have put me there. WOW!
I'm so honored and I feel that the struggles that I have had, my mother and her mother have had to face over the many years have not been in vain.
When I was a teenager I was in an environment (during the 80's) where at times the size of my body determined if I was to stay on contract with a record company or be dumped.
I thought I was signed for my voice and my grief was abject.
It was such a personal private struggle that I felt I monitored so many activities and choices for myself at that time. I didn’t feel free!
I felt betrayed by my body and started the long journey of trying different methods to "handle" my body. Why wasn’t I built a certain way, why didn't he love me for who I am, why do they "see" me instead of "hear" my efforts? It was a confusing time.
Now of course I see how much that time was wasted. And if it's only now that I see that it's my responsibility, by example, to focus on how to preserve one's self-respect and integrity, no matter what shape, size color you are and discipline our future generations towards self love.
Because, it's only you that can look after yourself in this way.
It's a personal and private endeavour.
I admire those who have the courage to stand up in the face of popular fashion (which will always be there and which is not the cause or cure for this dilemma), and be yourself. You are the author of your own footprint!
Lots of love
To check out more on Kate
please visit Kate
2008 Week Without Violence
YWCA of Adelaide marked Week Without Violence 2008 on Friday 24 October with a stall in Rundle Mall where a new YWCA resources, ‘Relationships Things’ booklet, was launched. The booklet is designed for teenagers and it explores a range of topics and issues regarding healthy relationship such as communication, equality, respect and consent as well as listing a range of support services for young people.
Local artist, Jo Kerlogue, was a major draw card as she created live art at the stall, interpreting people’s comments about ‘what makes a healthy relationship?’ and incorporating these into the art piece.
The most popular responses from the 200 visitors to the stall were communication, honesty and trust, with other ideas about healthy relationships including fairness, equality, friendship, time, patience and fun.
Week Without Violence is an international YWCA event held every October to raise awareness about violence against women and girls with the aim to reduce violence.
This week: one in six children will be bullied at school, 12 women or girls will be raped in South Australia, and more than one woman will be killed as a result of domestic violence.
For more information or to receive a copy of the booklet please contact YWCA of Adelaide on 8203 9400.
Shooting from the HipFlask
To highlight the dangers of binge drinking the YWCA of Adelaide ran a film clip competition aiming to get young people thinking about binge drinking. There was a great response with nine entrants of which five featured women. Film clips were put on myspace.com where people could cast their vote for their favourite. The winning film will be used in the YWCA’s viral campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of binge drinking in 2009.
On 18 November 2008 the winner of the YWCA’s ‘Shooting from the Hipflask’ film competition was announced at an exclusive screening of all the entries at Nexus Cabaret Space, North Terrace, Adelaide.
Film maker Murali K Thalluri presented a $2500 cheque to 20-year old Oliver Del Vecchio, for his winning film ‘What are you really drinking?’. Murali also presented a $1500 cheque to Alice Burke and her group, whose film ‘Low Battery’ won the ‘People’s Choice’ prize. This entry received the most votes from the public in an on online poll which ran last week on myspace.
To view the winning clip and people’s choice please go to www.myspace.com/shootingfromthehipflask
Winner - "What are you really drinking?"
People's Choice - "Low Battery"