The Australian Christian Lobby calls on the Federal Government to consider Berlin’s proposed ban on sexist advertising which extends to all images in which women are protrayed as “beautiful but weak, hysterical, dumb, crazy, naive, or ruled by their emotions”.

“Using objectified images of women to sell a product is detrimental to women and to men’s views on women,” ACL spokesperson for women, Wendy Francis said.

“The unreal world of advertising and marketing not only promotes a woman that doesn’t exist in the real world, but it causes health issues for young women and it contributes to domestic violence and relationship breakdown.

The Berlin proposal has been drawn up by the Berlin State Coalition Government and has been lauded as an example for the German National Government to follow. 

“Men are sold the lie that this is the ideal woman. Women, from a very young age, are sold the lie that they should try and look this way. And the lie is damaging girls and women,” Ms Francis said.

“We fight against domestic violence and at the same time degrade women publicly.

“We fight for women’s rights to equality with men in the workplace while using their bodies to please and entice men in advertising.

“We run healthy eating campaigns whilst promoting dangerously thin role models for young girls in advertising.

“We campaign for more women in sport and at the same time objectify them in public with immunity and promote the concept that they are there to be ogled.

“In much of our modern advertising, women are objectified, insulted or degraded.

“If we truly want equality between men and women, and our girls to live healthy and fulfilled lives, the endless and lazy use of semi-naked women in advertising campaigns must stop.”  

In May, a consortium of Australian organisations fighting against sexual exploitation called for an overhaul of the classification and advertising standards at the inaugural Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation.

More than a dozen groups including the ACL, Women’s Forum Australia, Collective Shout and Porn Harms Kids called on the Federal Government to to direct the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) to amend both their Code of Ethics and Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children.

ENDS

Background information:

Website to Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation

Report on the inaugural summit held in Brisbane, May 5-6, 2017

The full text of the four ASASE resolutions: 

Pornography has created a national health crisis which demands a societal response.

Delegates from the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation held in Brisbane on Saturday 6thMay 2017, call upon the Federal Government to recognise that pornography is a public health hazard which leads to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts and societal harms; and that there is a need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming our nation. Steps to prevent pornography exposure and addiction, to educate individuals and families concerning its harms, and to develop recovery programs must be addressed systemically in ways that hold broader influences accountable. We ask that an expert panel be appointed to investigate the public health effects and societal harms of pornography to both children and adults, and to make policy recommendations to Parliament. 

We call on the Federal Government to conduct a full review of the classification system and the self-regulatory system of the Advertising Standards Board.

The Advertising Standards Board (ASB) has no power to penalise advertisers who breach their code. Neither can they penalise advertisers who disregard a determination and fail to remove offending advertisements. Given the failure of the current self-regulatory system to meet community expectations specifically in the areas of advertising to children and the portrayal of women, the delegates of the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call on our Federal Government -

to direct the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) to amend both their Code of Ethics and Code of Advertising and Marketing Communications to Children to include a principle that decisions in regards to advertising must be made in the best interests of children; and conduct a full government review of the current classification and self-regulatory system, and introduce appropriate penalties for organisations/advertisers who refuse to comply.


We call on the Federal Government to conduct a Royal Commission into the dysfunction of the Family Law Systems of Australia. 
Following a report by Bravehearts, “Abbey’s Project”, highlighting failings within the Family Court System, including sending children to live with convicted sex offenders, the below delegates from the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call upon the Federal Government to conduct a Royal Commission into the dysfunction of the Family Law Systems of Australia. 

We call on our Government to adopt the Nordic Model of prostitution legislation.

The Nordic Model takes an abolitionist approach to prostitution and trafficking, refusing to accept that booming markets for prostitution and sex trafficking are desirable or inevitable. The Nordic Model comes from an understanding that prostitution and sex trafficking are harmful to prostituted and trafficked persons, as well as barriers to social justice. Australia signed the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children (known as the ‘Palermo Protocol’) in 2005. This obliges us to: Adopt or strengthen legislative or other measures, such as educational, social or cultural measures, including through bilateral and multilateral co-operation, to discourage the demand that fosters all forms of exploitation of persons, especially women and children, that lead to trafficking (UNOHCHR, 2013). 

As advocates for social and cultural change, the delegates of the Australian Summit Against Sexual Exploitation call on our Government to deliver on these international obligations, as well as our social obligation to protect the vulnerable, and work towards implementing the Nordic model of legislation for our policies relating to prostitution, both at Federal and State levels.

The organisations at the summit included:

Bravehearts                                       

Brisbane Feminist Collective                         

Culture Reframed                              

City Women                                       

Collective Shout                                             

Fighting for Justice Foundation -                  

JAM - Justice and Mercy                    

Pink Cross Foundation Australia                    

Porn Harms Kids                                            

QAK - Queensland Alliance for Kids  

Rahab                                     

Salvos Brothel Outreach Teams

Sister Survivor

Stop the Traffik                                              

Women’s Forum Australia                

Youth Wellbeing Project