Chapter 1


1.1        On 25 November 2015 the Senate referred the following matters to the Senate Finance and Public Administration References Committee (the committee) for inquiry and report by 24 August 2016:

  1. the role of gender inequality in all spheres of life in contributing to the prevalence of domestic violence;
  2. the role of gender stereotypes in contributing to cultural conditions which support domestic violence, including, but not limited to, messages conveyed to children and young people in:
    1. the marketing of toys and other products,
    2. education, and
    3. entertainment;
  3. the role of government initiatives at every level in addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence, including the commitments under, or related to, the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children; and
  4. any other related matters.[1]

1.2        The inquiry was not completed when the Senate and the House of Representatives were dissolved on 9 May 2016 for a general election on 2 July 2016. When Parliament resumed, the committee recommended to the Senate that the inquiry be re-referred in the 45th Parliament with a reporting date of 24 November 2016. This recommendation was agreed by the Senate.[2] The committee has decided to report early.

Previous committee inquiry

1.3        During the 44th Parliament, from June 2014, the committee undertook a comprehensive inquiry into domestic violence, reporting on 20 August 2015. The committee does not intend to replicate that inquiry but to focus on the issue of gender inequality as per the terms of reference. The committee's previous report is available from the committee website.[3]

Conduct of the inquiry

1.4        The committee advertised the inquiry on its website. In addition, the committee invited submissions from individuals, organisations and government departments by 31 March 2016, although the committee accepted submissions after this date.

1.5        The committee received 76 public submissions. A list of individuals and organisations which made public submissions, together with other information authorised for publication by the committee, is at Appendix 1.

1.6        Submissions may be accessed through the committee website at:


1.7        The committee thanks those individuals and organisations who made submissions.

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