Starting conversations to end violence against women as part of #16dayscoffeecups

Let's talk: Corangamite Shire's Rory Neeson, Greg Hayes, Matthew Dawson, Michael Emerson, Patrick Cannon and James Watson show their support.

Let's talk: Corangamite Shire's Rory Neeson, Greg Hayes, Matthew Dawson, Michael Emerson, Patrick Cannon and James Watson show their support.

Sharing important conversations over coffee is nothing new, but a south-west campaign is proving how successful it can be.

The #16dayscoffeecups project, running as part of the 16 days of activism against gender violence, is using orange coffee cups emblazoned with phrases like “You play like a girl … should not be an insult” to ignite conversations about gender inequality. 

Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West executive officer Emily Lee-Ack said social media was a sea of orange for the campaign and described the response so far as “amazing”.

“What’s really wonderful is it’s not just people sharing their coffee cups… people are also sharing their own thoughts and reflections on family violence,” she said.

“We have been really heartened by the connection people are making between gender inequity and violence against women.”

In total, 120,000 coffee cups have been distributed across the south-west.

“There’s been an enormous amount of community spirit for this campaign so hopefully it’s something we can grow in future years,” Ms Lee-Ack said.

“It’s only five days in but we’re hoping people will continue to be part of the campaign and support the businesses involved.”

The 16 days of activism campaign, involving activities across the region and the state, ends on December 10. To show your support on social media, use #16dayscoffeecups

Corangamite Shire is among the large organisations in the region to get behind the campaign. The orange cups have been distributed to cafes and workplaces across the shire to help start conversations.

Community services manager Matthew Dawson said the coffee cups highlighted how important language was in contributing to the forming of poor behaviours and attitudes towards women.

“Men play a critical role in influencing their peers to challenge disrespectful behaviours and attitudes towards women that occur in every part of society where they live, work and socialise,” he said.

“By challenging the social norms, structures, practices and rigid gender stereotypes that create a culture where women and men are valued differently, we can help to shift the impact of gender inequality and reduce violence against women.

“So let’s have a coffee and start a conversation around how we can all make a difference.”

  • Confidential domestic violence counselling is available on 1800 737 732.
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