Australian government, political and defence force leaders came together at Parliament House this morning to officially launch the Australian celebrations of International Women’s Day – ahead of the UN Global Day of Observance on 8 March.
Co-hosted by the Hon Anthony Albanese MP, Prime Minister of Australia and the Hon Peter Dutton MP, Leader of the Opposition, the annual UN Women Australia event brings together the leaders and decision makers of our nation, to celebrate the progress made and the commitment required to achieving gender equality and SDG 5.
The Prime Minister, Mr Dutton and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Penny Wong, each addressed the event, acknowledging of the enduring importance of International Women’s Day and the continued work of UN Women supporting the world’s women and girls.
“More women in the Parliament makes our democracy stronger. We make better decisions when a more diverse and representative range of voices sit at the table,” said the Prime Minister.
“For our Government, that means we will not rest in our efforts to bring about real, meaningful equality. To make sure we’re governing for all Australians. We are putting women’s participation and opportunity at the heart of our economic agenda.”
Mr Dutton said, “Innovation is obviously vitally important, and Julie Inman Grant (Australian E-Safety Commissioner) is really blazing the way in that regard. Organisations across Australia are making sure that they can work to eradicate barriers and behaviours which will inhibit equality of opportunity.”
Senator Wong said, “It’s time, this International Women’s Day, for us to go beyond the idea that we seek gender equality because it is the right thing to do – though it certainly is – and recognise that gender equality is a vital national interest.”
UN Women Australia Chair, Georgie Williams reminded the audience of the powerful opportunity that gender equality presents.
“This year’s theme is an important reminder that our world, as it progresses into a technological future, does so at the risk of embedding gender inequality even further. Gender inequality is not an unsolvable problem that must be ranked against or below other challenges. It is a true opportunity – which when harnessed, releases incredible productivity, intellectual capital and international competitive advantage.”
This important event was also an opportunity to celebrate the Australian Government’s longstanding support and partnership with UN Women in Australia and across the region.
Simone Clarke, CEO UN Women Australia, acknowledged the enduring support of the Australian government and the critical role its funding plays for the women and girls of the region.
“UN Women’s partnership with the Australian government centres on our shared beliefs in gender equality as a precursor to peace, security and prosperity in the region,” said Ms Clarke.
“We need to ensure that this commitment continues to strengthen in the years to come as we know that inadequate and unpredictable funding, undermines the prospects for real and lasting change. We also know that if we don’t achieve gender equality none of the other SDGs are attainable.”
The Australian theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender equal future, focusing on innovation as a key driver of systemic change required to achieve gender equality.
UN Women Australia will hold five International Women’s Day fundraising events across, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, as well as a live stream to a virtual hub on Friday, 3 March 2023. To find out more about UN Women Australia’s IWD events visit unwomen.org.au.
UN Women Australia
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