Twenty years ago, at the Fourth World Conference on Women, 189 nations promised to remove all obstacles to gender equality and the empowerment of women. This commitment was made through the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a visionary roadmap for advancing women’s rights and equality between women and men.
Since 1995, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action has been translated into concrete changes. It remains a powerful source of guidance and inspiration for the work still to be achieved. Gender equality is central to economic and human development and to supporting women’s rights. Equal opportunity for women and men supports economic growth and helps to reduce poverty.
In 2015, Australia will use International Women’s Day to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has launched a publication, Empowering Women: Australia’s support for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Empowering Women showcases the extraordinary stories of some of the many empowered women who have been supported by Australia’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and aid program around the world.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are priorities for the Australian Government, both domestically and internationally. Internationally, Australia prioritises its work in areas where persistent challenges and progress toward gender equality has been slow, including:
- increasing women’s voice in decision-making, leadership and peace-building
- women’s economic empowerment
- ending violence against women and girls.