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February 8, 2023

International Women’s Day: Kira Button

I am a PhD Candidate based at the Waterfront Campus. My research is centred on understanding and preventing sexual harm within nightlife venues. I am a passionate advocate for gender equality and hope that my work will promote inclusivity and equity. I am also a Research Assistant and Casual Academic in the School of Psychology. 

Preferred pronouns: She/Her

Tell us about what International Women’s Day means to you? 

International Women’s Day gives us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the many achievements of women across a whole host of areas. It also serves an important reminder that gender equality is still a work in progress, and we must continue to strive towards a world where all women are respected, valued and empowered.   

In your time at Deakin, what has been your proudest achievement? 

Being accepted into the PhD program to research an area that I am passionate about is my proudest achievement to date. I hope my work will have a positive impact by reducing sexual harm and promoting equality, safety and inclusivity.  

We know discrimination still exists, what are some of the barriers you think that women are facing today that need more attention?  

In my area of research, women experience disproportionately high levels of unwanted sexual attention in nightlife venues. One primary barrier faced by women is victim blaming and shaming, which can make it difficult for victims to seek help and report their experiences. Recent social justice movements such as ‘Me Too’ and ‘Times up’ have helped highlight the severity and magnitude of violence against women. However, there is still a long way to go to address the underlying social, cultural and systemic factors that contribute to sexual violence and inequality.  

How do you feel Deakin supports women? 

At Deakin University, there are various programs and initiatives dedicated to fostering gender equality and providing support for women. For instance, the Deakin Network Against Gendered Violence promotes a research network that showcases Deakin’s research expertise relating to violence against women. Additionally, Deakin has implemented numerous inclusion and diversity policies, such as the Gender Equity Action Plan, which was designed to improve employment outcomes for women and people that are gender diverse. 

What are some of the ways someone can help drive a gender equal future?  

One way that individuals can contribute to creating a more gender-equal future is by challenging biases and stereotypes. This can involve questioning gender roles and norms, as well as speaking out against sexist or discriminatory language. Additionally, supporting women-led initiatives, such as businesses or advocacy groups, can be a powerful way to drive change and promote greater equality. 

Explore our other International Women’s Day profiles

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