Office of the Ambassador for Women and Girls
The Office of the Ambassador for Women and Girls was established by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, former Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and former Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis in September 2011. Ms Penny Williams was Australia's first Ambassador for Women and Girls. The creation of the Ambassador position reflects the Australian Government's active commitment in the international arena – and with a special focus on the Asia-Pacific region – to promote gender equality and to give women a stronger voice in the world.
In cooperation with the Australian Government Office for Women, the Ambassador for Women and Girls engages in international advocacy in support of Australian Government policies and programs to:
- empower women and girls socially, politically and economically
- eradicate violence against women and girls
- eliminate discrimination against women and girls
- ensure better educational and health (including sexual and maternal health) opportunities and outcomes for women and girls
- eradicate trafficking in women and girls
- protect women and girls in conflict and promote the role of women in peace-building, and
- enhance the participation of women in decision-making and leadership.
Excerpts from speeches delivered at an event to welcome Natasha Stott Despoja AM as Ambassador for Women and Girls
3 March 2014
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra
On 3 March 2014, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Australia's Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, hosted an event to introduce Natasha Stott Despoja AM, Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls, to parliamentarians, the diplomatic corps, government officials, and representatives of civil society, business, universities and think tanks and the media. Minister Bishop, Senator Cash and the Ambassador all spoke at the event which was held in the Atrium of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, Australia.