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Causes of violence can be complex but factors associated with gender inequality are the most consistent predictors of violence against women.
Gender inequality is the unequal distribution of power, resources and opportunities between men and women, and that their voices, ideas and work are not valued equally by society.
In societies where gender inequality is high, violence against women is more easily accepted.
More specifically, the major factors that drive violence against women have been identified as:
  • Condoning of violence against women
  • Men’s control of decision-making and limits to women’s independence
  • Rigid gender roles and identities
  • Male peer relations that emphasise aggression and disrespect towards women
Source: Change the Story: A shared framework for the primary prevention of violence against women and their children in Australia
These factors support beliefs and actions that lead to women being treated with less dignity and respect.
Other reinforcing factors such as alcohol and substance use, experience of and exposure to violence, poverty, and discrimination can contribute to violence against women but are not a direct cause.
So to prevent violence against women, we must address factors associated with gender inequality.

Further Reading: