Gender equality


Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, works to ensure that the empowerment of women and girls is a central focus of Australia's diplomatic, development and defence concerns. By advocating internationally for women's equal participation in political, economic and social affairs, the Ambassador advances global progress, peace and stability.

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.

Contact us

Natasha Stott Despoja​
Ambassador for Women and Girls

Mail: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
255 London Circuit
Canberra City ACT 2601

Other information

Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls logo

Gender equality and empowering women and girls

Women with a mission: personal perspectives

Empowering Women: Australia's support for gender equality and the empowerment of women

Women, Peace and Security: DFAT's implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325