Women are powerful agents of change for peace and security. Involving women in ways to resolve conflict is not just an exercise in gender equality, it is a key strategy to improve the chances of peace and development. The more involved women are in the peace process as peace-builders, the greater the likelihood of lasting peace and development.
Australia has been at the forefront of the international community's efforts to empower women to overcome disadvantage and discrimination. We were one of the first countries to sign the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and we continue to ensure its effective implementation. We have supported efforts to enhance international approaches towards gender issues, including the establishment of UN Women.
There is growing international recognition that a comprehensive approach to security issues requires the inclusion of women's experiences and perspectives.
Australia has been a strong supporter of UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, which provides the basis for women to play a greater role in all peace processes and peacebuilding activities. Australia is currently developing its second National Action Plan to implement resolution 1325. Australia also co-sponsored UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security issues and strongly supports actions in Australia and internationally to address sexual violence against women.
Through its aid program, Australia supports women's leadership and participation in government, business and the community.