The Australian Country Statement to the 60th Commission on the Status of Women was delivered by the Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja AM, on Friday 18 Mach 2016.

Australian Country Statement to CSW60

Delivered by the Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott-Despoja AM

Mr Chair

Thank you for the opportunity to address the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women. I do so as Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls and I urge other countries to create comparable positions.

Gender equality is essential to building strong economies, achieving development and improving the quality of life for women, families, communities and nations.

To achieve this, we need to accelerate implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. We must end violence against women and girls. We must ensure women are able to participate fully in social, political and economic realms. And we must protect the fundamental human rights of women and girls, including those of the most vulnerable and marginalised.
In adopting the 2030 Agenda, the world said unequivocally that gender equality is essential to achieve prosperity and a sustainable, equitable future for all.

It is a comprehensive, ambitious, international agenda that mainstreams gender equality. It acknowledges that no country has achieved equality. It demands progress on the many areas where we have failed to meet our commitments.

We now have the opportunity to weave together the 2030 Agenda and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action to develop a clear path to gender equality.
We must not squander this opportunity.

The Commission is central to these efforts. I am pleased to announce that Australia has nominated to serve as a member of the Commission for the 2019-2023 term. Australia supports strongly the Commission’s role in reviewing the 2030 Agenda and ensuring its implementation delivers gender equality.

Mr Chair

Australia is hard at work on this agenda, both domestically and internationally.

A major impediment to gender equality and sustainable development is the global pandemic of violence against women. It is a fundamental human rights violation.
Violence can be exacerbated by multiple forms of disadvantage, such as poverty, lack of education or opportunity, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, age and Indigenous status.
There is no excuse for violence against women and girls in any form.

Australia is committed to eradicating harmful traditional practices, including child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. We applaud the strong leadership among African nations.

Ending all forms of violence against women and girls is a priority for Australia.

Last year, the Australian Government announced a $100 million domestic Women’s Safety Package. The initiative will help to make women safer on the streets, at home and online. This is in addition to a nearly $200 million investment in Australia’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

Internationally we are working with partners across government, civil society and international organisations to shape a world where women and girls can thrive and their safety is assured.

Mr Chair

There can be no sustainable development without the economic empowerment of women.

Under Australia’s presidency, G20 leaders agreed to reduce the gender gap in workforce participation by 25 per cent by 2025. This reinforces Australia’s pledge to boost women’s workforce participation and improve women’s long-term financial security.

Through Australia’s aid program, our new Investing in Women Initiative supports partnerships with government and the private sector in South East Asia to expand women’s economic participation. This builds on our extensive support for women’s economic empowerment across the Indo-Pacific region.

Mr Chair

Australia is proud to have announced its candidacy for election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-2020 term. Our candidacy is a measure of our commitment to human rights.
The full realisation of women’s and girls’ human rights is a pillar of Australia’s candidacy for the Human Rights Council.

National Human Rights Institutions play a pivotal role in the international human rights system. Australia strongly supports the contribution of these institutions, and civil society actors, to the promotion of gender equality.

Australia urges the Commission to take forward the enhanced participation of National Human Rights Institutions in its operations, as recommended by the General Assembly.

The 2030 Agenda provides an opportunity to reinvigorate global momentum to women’s empowerment. Our cooperation across the Agenda must be resolute. Our national approaches must be innovative and agile.

We must not fail to seize the opportunity to secure a central role for the Commission in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

The empowerment of women and girls is achievable – in this Australia’s commitment is unwavering.

Via Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website