Australian Prime Minister to Convene National Cabinet Over Incidents of Violence Against Women

Following rallies that have taken place across Australia in response to a wave of recent violence against women, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has convened a national cabinet for Wednesday.

Albanese said the issue was a national crisis and that tackling violence against women will be the sole agenda of the meeting.

In Australia, a woman has been killed on average every four days so far this year.

Albanese who spoke at the Canberra rally on Subday admitted the government at all levels needed to do better.

“We need to change culture, the attitudes, the legal system and the approach by all governments,

“We need to make sure that this isn’t up to women, it’s up to men to change men’s behaviour as well,” he said.

Responding to calls by protestors for violence against women to be classified as a national emergency, Mr Albanese said the classification was normally used during floods or bushfires to release a temporary injection of cash.

“We don’t need one month or two months – we need to address this in a serious way, week by week, month by month, year by year,” he said.

However, Australia’s federal attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, has rejected holding a royal commission into gender-based violence.

He pointed out that Albanese has repeatedly called gender-based violence an epidemic but it’s not new, recalling that in 2021, marches took place across the country over allegations of sexual misconduct within the government.

Recent killings have put the issue back in the spotlight.

Earlier this month, a man stabbed six people to death in a Sydney shopping centre. Five of the victims were women and the police are looking at whether they were the target.

New South Wales Police Force commissioner Karen Webb said “the offender focused on women and avoided the men”.

The rallies also coincided with the charging of a man with the alleged murder of 30-year-old mother-of-four Erica Hay, who was found dead after a house fire in Perth earlier this month.

In all, 27 women have been killed in the first 119 days of 2024, according to data compiled by the campaign group Destroy the Joint.

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