2022 Alice Tay Lecture on Law & Human Rights

In Canberra on 24 August, ANROWS CEO, Padma Raman PSM, delivered the 2022 Alice Tay lecture to a packed audience at ANU.

Violence against women and children is a pervasive human rights issue in Australia. The current state of this crisis requires us all to think boldly and collectively about change. Taking a human rights perspective on violence against women is one way to sharpen our focus around accountability for the safety and dignity of all people. It can also pose critical challenges to deeply embedded ways of thinking.

In this lecture, Padma Raman, PSM and CEO of ANROWS, explores how human rights frameworks can complement and challenge gendered perspectives, and the role of rigorous research in developing an evidence base to inform our actions.

Focusing on how a greater national literacy in the language of human rights could help us understand how best to respond to the “terrorism” of violence against women and children in Australia, Ms Raman delivered an address around the core question: “If we can’t speak the language of human rights, how do we ensure that human rights are protected?”

Ms Raman’s address ended with an invocation to respond to bell hooks’s invitation to “imagine living in a world … where a vision of mutuality is the ethos shaping our interaction”. She asked us to imagine this world, and understand its complexity, and called us to take action in whatever way we can to end violence against women and children. Ms Raman will be developing the themes contained in last week’s lecture in a series of public addresses taking place through the remainder of 2022.