International Women’s Day 2016 – #PledgeForParity

Why we support International Women’s Day

End violence against womenEach year on 8 March the APA proudly supports International Women’s Day. Championed by the Australian National Committee for UN Women, the day celebrates the health, economic, political and social achievements of women. With more than 70 per cent of APA members being female, in 2016 the initiative’s calls to achieve:

  • Greater equality in remuneration, education and the workplace
  • Better access to suitable women’s health services
  • Communities and homes free of violence, enabling women to participate in social, economic and cultural life fully and equally.

In response to the tragic death of Indian physiotherapy student, Jyothi Singh in late 2012, the APA membership has supported International Women's Day through fundraising for The Australian National Committee for UN Women. In the lead up to IWD in 2013 the APA's members raised $10,000 to end violence against women. The donation from the APA in 2013 was used to create safer marketplaces in Papua New Guinea, where a high proportion of vendors are women.


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Show your support in 2016

Violence against women is a serious problem in Australia, with one in three women (1) having experienced physical and/or sexual violence perpetrated by someone known to them. On average, one woman is killed every week as a result of intimate partner violence and the cost of violence against women to the Australian economy is estimated to rise to $15.6 billion per annum (1).


This year, the theme for IWD is ‘Pledge for Parity'. Everyone - men and women - can pledge to take a concrete step to help achieve gender parity more quickly - whether to help women and girls achieve their ambitions, call for gender-balanced leadership, respect and value difference, develop more inclusive and flexible cultures or root out workplace bias. Take part in the International Women's Day events and be a leader within physiotherapy. Commit to taking action to accelerate gender parity. Are you ready to accelerate gender parity? Make the pledge now.


Together with the APA you can donate to show your support.


Physiotherapists to help break the cycle of violence

It’s important to remember physiotherapists can play a vital role in identifying signs of family abuse and assault in their patients, and to intervene to break the cycle of violence. Victims of abuse are often hesitant to contact police, women’s shelters or their local advocacy organisations. 

Physiotherapists and other healthcare workers are well positioned to identify signs of family abuse and assault and to intervene to break the cycle of violence. If they have developed a good relationship with their patients, they can break the social isolation that so many victims of abuse experience and help these families find a way out of the cycle of violence.

The APA is urging Australia’s healthcare industry to begin a coordinated, community-wide effort to stop family violence through:

  • becoming a trusted confidant to lessen the social isolation and helplessness that victims may feel
  • being aware of and watching for signs of abuse in individual patients
  • talking to all patients about violence, and opening the door to allowing patients to tell you about violence in their lives
  • documenting injuries and details of the abuse
  • referring patients to resources in the community.

Resources for healthcare professionals