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 year for International Women's Day, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is focusing on Australia's contribution to women's economic empowerment through aid, trade and economic diplomacy. This is in line with the priority theme at the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), which focuses on Women's Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work. Women's economic empowerment is a significant driver of economic growth and prosperity. Women already make a significant contribution to the economy; however, this is often in the informal sector, and is unrecognised, without security, and unrewarded.
This year, to mark International Women's Day, DFAT has produced a short publication, Australia Advancing Women's Economic Empowerment through Aid, Trade and Economic Diplomacy, which highlights Australia's global efforts in advancing women's economic empowerment through foreign policy advocacy, trade negotiations, economic diplomacy and aid investments.
Gender equality is central to economic and human development and Australia is steadfast in its commitment to be at the forefront of efforts to promote gender equality and the empowerment of girls globally and in our region. DFAT's Strategy on gender equality and women's empowerment commits us to advancing women's rights and equal opportunities. This strategy places sustained engagement on gender equality and women's empowerment at the centre of Australia's foreign affairs and trade portfolio, and embeds it across the breadth of our bilateral and multilateral engagement.
Video message from the Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls, Dr Sharman Stone on International Women's Day