Blog post

What do we mean when we talk about ‘gender’ and family violence?

Gender Family violence Feminism

Last year I published a journal article about the wide variety of definitions I came across when I asked Australian policy actors what they mean when they say ‘gender’.

I found this variety concerning because statements like “family violence is a gendered issue” are common (and commonly debated) in the family violence field – but if people working in family violence and allied fields are drawing on different understandings of gender when they talk about this, it will be difficult to agree on whether this statement is true, or what it means.

Relatedly, models of family violence response are increasingly coordinated and multi-sectoral, so practitioners from different sectors will be more and more often required to work together. If practitioners don’t have a common understanding of foundational concepts like gender, this has implications for how well they can communicate (and thus work) together.

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