2015 IWD Highlights: $425,000 raised to accelerate gender equality

The Australian National Committee for UN Women is pleased to report that International Women’s Day 2015 (IWD) events and campaigns raised $425,000 for UN Women programs.

In March, over 8,000 people stepped forward to support the work of the Australian National Committee for UN Women.
Funds raised at IWD 2015 will be donated to support UN Women projects in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific to accelerate gender equality.

Your incredible generosity will help us expand and support key programs working to:

• end violence against women and girls;
• advance women in leadership; and
• promote women’s economic empowerment

Because of the incredible support from our Partners & Sponsors, event attendees, local event supporters and community fundraisers, UN Women can create safer communities and foster women’s training and development so that they may flourish in their chosen field, as entrepreneurs and mothers, elected officials or market vendors.

Some of the projects already underway are profiled on our website – here.

Event highlights:

More than 8,000 people attended the National Committee’s IWD events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

The theme for IWD 2015 was ‘Beijing +20: Let’s not wait another 20 years to achieve gender equality’, to commemorate 20 years since the Beijing Platform for Action was agreed by 189 nations. The theme provided a fantastic platform to both celebrate what has been achieved since this milestone, and reflect upon what still needs to be done, to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

Distinguished panel guests spoke at each event, with discussions focused on what has been achieved since this milestone, and to reflect upon what still needs to be done.

Over the course of our IWD campaign the National Committee had the extraordinary opportunity to reach families, workplaces and communities, challenging Australians to take steps towards achieving gender equality. The National Committee also engaged men and women in the HeForShe campaign, with hundreds of Australians signing the pledge.

The week was kicked off with a Parliamentary Breakfast held in Canberra, co hosted by the Prime Minister the Hon Tony Abbott MP and Opposition Leader, the Hon Bill Shorten MP. The leaders launched the week of celebrations with bi-partisan support of gender equality through signing the HeForShe pledge at our Parliamentary Breakfast. Many other Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Department heads joined with our country’s leaders giving a strong message that gender equality is not just a women’s issue. Read more here.

The National Committee’s National Press Club IWD Address was held on March 4, and was broadcast live on ABC1. The forum featured introductory remarks from Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, and the Hon Bill Shorten MP, Leader of the Opposition. As passionate advocates for gender equality, both speakers briefly reflected on progress made since the historic Beijing Platform for Action was signed 20 years ago, and outlined their vision for the way forward to achieve gender equality.

Following those opening remarks a panel comprising Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Young Australian of the Year (QLD); Helen Conway, Director, Workplace Gender Equality Agency; and Julie McKay, Executive Director of the Australian National Committee for UN Women, discussed ‘Progress and Pathways to Gender Equality’. The panel focused on women’s economic empowerment; violence against women; the success of gender quotas; and the value of multilateral agreements in improving the status of women in Australian and across our region. The panel discussion was moderated by ABC presenter, Virginia Haussegger AM.

To view photos from the Australian National Committee for UN Women’s International Women’s Day events held around the country, click here.

If you would like to join our family of monthly donors supporting UN Women projects, clickhere.

Partnering to support gender equality

The National Committee could not hold such successful events without the strong support of its partners, including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Aurizon, PwC and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). View our full partner list here.

For the past three years, Esprit has generously supported the International Women’s Day campaign. This year, Esprit pledged to donate 10% of all sales from 2 – 8 March 2015 from Esprit stores. The final result was an impressive $71,174.