International Women’s Day is marked annually on 8 March to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women. It is a time to reflect on progress made in the past year and to recommit to addressing the persistent barriers to the realisation of full gender equality and women’s empowerment.
This International Women’s Day comes at an important moment for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Last week, Australia’s Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, launched the Department’s new Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Strategy at Parliament House. The strategy establishes three priorities that will guide the Department’s work on gender equality:
- enhancing women’s voice in decision-making, leadership and peace-building
- promoting women’s economic empowerment
- ending violence against women and girls.
The strategy makes sustained engagement on gender equality and women’s empowerment a priority in our foreign affairs and trade portfolio, to be taken forward across the breadth of Australia’s bilateral and multilateral engagement.
This year, to mark International Women’s Day, DFAT has produced Safe homes and safe communities, which details Australia’s commitment to ending all forms of violence against women and girls. The booklet features programs that provide women and girls with access to support services and justice, and prevent violence against women through awareness programs. Ending violence against women and girls is the review theme at the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW60) convening later this month.
The Australian delegation for CSW60 will be led by Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja. The priority theme at CSW60 will focus on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its link to women’s empowerment.
Video messages on International Women’s Day