Joint statement on misogyny in the Australian media

The media has the power to promote equality, shape our culture, and ultimately promote positive social change that will prevent violence against women.

A cartoon published in the Herald Sun this week depicting Victoria’s new Premier Jacinta Allan is sexist, harmful and tiresome. 

As organisations that represent and work alongside women and people experiencing violence and inequality, we are calling on the Australian media to take accountability for the way it reports on and represents women.

This conversation is bigger than one misogynistic cartoon. It’s about headlines that paint men who murder their partners as ‘good blokes’, it’s disempowering images used in stories about family violence that show women cowering in the shadows. 

It’s articles that lean into racist or ableist stereotypes, that sexualise women and girls, that aim to take down women in positions of power, and that minimise violence using sexist ‘jokes’.

It’s social media content and radio segments that encourage audiences to vilify women who are brave enough to share their stories.

Journalists, editors, producers, and cartoonists have the power to choose between driving violence against women or helping to prevent it from happening.

Instead of making a mockery of women’s bodies, the media could be running stories and using images that amplify women’s voices, that challenge inequality, that model healthy relationships and that show younger generations that we can be better than this. 

To ensure that all women are safe and equal in this country, the media must step up and play its part.

For tips on improving reporting on violence against women, head to Our Watch’s Media Making Change resources.

Signed: Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare, Djirra, GENVic, GenWest, Gippsland Women's Health, Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, No To Violence, Respect Victoria, Safe and Equal, Women's Health East, Women’s Health Grampians, Women’s Health Loddon Mallee, Women's Health in the South East, Women’s Health Victoria, Women's Health in the North, Women's Health Goulburn North East.