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Quiet Revolution: Frances Crimmins

Laura Peppas

For our third magazine, the ‘Hidden Issue’, we wanted to shine the light on Canberra women on the forefront of social justice in our city. 

They’re the women bravely leading the charge against Canberra’s big issues: issues that while many are uncomfortable to talk about, are reaching devastating proportions in our city. With rising suicide, drug use and domestic violence rates, these women are fighting to ensure their cause doesn’t become another overlooked statistic. Meet six leaders starting their own quiet revolution.

Gender equality can so easily be pushed aside as simply a “feminist ideal”, says Executive Director of YWCA Canberra Frances Crimmins.

“I find that when I’m talking about issues like the pay equity gap, the lack of women in leadership positions and other structural issues of gender inequality, I’m generally met with less resistance… these are still ‘safe’ conversations to have,” she says.

“Sadly though, this is not the case when we talk about some of the more pervasive, ‘hidden’ issues of gender equality. For me, the biggest indicator that gender inequality still exists in our society, and the issue we are not yet ready as a community to truly respond to, is violence against women.”

As Executive Director, Frances is the public face of YWCA Canberra, and is committed to eliminating all forms of violence against women, fostering the development of women and girls’ leadership, and ensuring women are able to exercise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

“As a feminist organisation, we believe everyone has a right to contribute to, and share equally in the benefits of the community’s social, cultural and economic development,” she says.

“Achieving gender equality is the key goal that underpins our work.” Frances argues gender equality is at “the root” of violence against women.

“Sadly, many women today face death threats, rape threats, and violent outbursts on social media, simply for voicing their opinions,” she says.

“These kinds of incidents of sexism and harassment largely go unchallenged. If you ask any woman whether they would report the attacks they face online, they most likely wouldn’t know where to start.

By not calling out this behaviour, and not challenging everyday sexism, we are in fact contributing to detrimental societal views on the roles of men and women, which feeds into men’s violence against women.”

We’ll be releasing the women of Quiet Revolution’s stories individually over the coming weeks. You can read the article in full in our latest Magazine, available for free at these locations while stocks last. 


Feature image by Martin Ollman


Laura Peppas

Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager and is the Editor of Unveiled, HerCanberra's wedding magazine. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer, meeting some intriguing locals and working with a pretty awesome bunch of women. Laura has lived in Canberra for most of her life and when she's not writing fervently she enjoys pursuing her passion for travel, reading, online shopping and chai tea. More about the Author