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  1. 30 Global Leaders Convene to Share Ground-Breaking Solutions on how to Achieve Gender Equality as Part of UN Women’s HeForShe Movement

    (New York) – 30 global leaders unveiled their ground-breaking solutions for gender equality today as part of UN Women’s HeForShe movement. Addressing critical policy issues, changing the course of business leadership and the futures of our next generation, these proven practices have the potential to see gender equality achieved within our lifetime.

    HeForShe’s IMPACT Champions, comprised of 10 Heads of State, 10 global CEOs and 10 University Presidents, came together to share with the world the key obstacles they have faced on their journey, as well as the innovative proven practices that they can now empower the rest of the world with. H.E. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of Malawi, shared the story of how his country has ended child marriage once and for all, allowing over 1500 girls to return to education. Bob Moritz, Chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited shared the story of how his organization has gone from 18 per cent female representation in the Global Leadership Team in January 2016 to 47 per cent by December 2016. Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Leicester (U.K.) led a dynamic conversation on how students themselves are generating solutions to address gender-based violence on their campuses.

    “The results announced in today’s IMPACT 10x10x10 Parity Report are inspirational. In 2015, I challenged the Champions to ‘think big’ and commit to creative approaches that tackled the greatest barriers. We know that incremental steps do not bring us the benefits that we so urgently need,” said Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. “As leaders in their fields the Champions hold the key to breaking norms and making game-changing progress for both women and men. The report shares strategies, roadblocks and successes so others can follow suit.”

    In a true HeForShe moment, newcomers H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts and Professor Paul Wainaina, Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University were warmly welcomed to the IMPACT 10x10x10 family. H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo is committed to improving gender inequalities and engaging the men of Ghana for a more equitable country. With over 300 million players around the world, Electronic Arts will lead on diversifying representation in the gaming industry, creating safe spaces online as well as advancing equal pay in the US and beyond. Home to some of the world’s top scholars, researchers and experts with over 70,000 students, Kenyatta University brings a new global perspective to the IMPACT cohort. Aligning with the existing priorities of the IMPACT Universities, Kenyatta is committed to achieving a gender-balanced leadership, embedding gender equality into the very DNA of their institution and addressing gender-based violence across their campuses.

    Official images, briefing documents, and video clips will be available here.
    Livestream will be available here.
    To learn more, you can review the full report here.
    Photos from the events will be available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/HeForShe/

     


     

    WHAT IMPACT Champions Are Saying:

    Head of State IMPACT Champions

    “The HeForShe movement provides an opportunity for the socialization of men and boys to support and promote women’s and girls’ empowerment. Men should commit themselves by signing the HeForShe movement.”

    • H.E. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi

    “I strongly believe removing the root causes of discrimination and violence against women and girls is a smart strategy to ensure a just and prosperous world.”

    • H.E. Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia

    “The formalization of the Gender Equality Expert role is not only a critical step in eliminating gender based violence throughout our communities in Romania, but also ensures that our policies are informed and responsive. Only when we do this, we will start to see gender equality becoming reality.”

    • H.E. Klaus Werner Iohannis, President of Romania

    “We have to change mindsets, not just laws. We are in this together; let’s stand as partners and end gender inequality once and for all.”

    • H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda

    “In my capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces, I am proud to announce that all our conscripts, who are mostly young men, undergo training on anger management and prevention of violence in close relationships as part of their military service. I call upon everyone to join in efforts to build equal and sustainable societies and achieve full gender equality by 2030. Finland is a close partner of UN Women – we are one of its largest donors – in this endeavour.

    • H.E. Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland

    “I firmly believe that empowering women to maximize their high potential to the full extent will be a driving force that puts Japan, a country currently caught in an impasse, on track for growth and prosperity once again.”

    • H.E. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

    “My political commitment is based on the firm belief of equal value of all people as well as on the power of politics to change society and create equal rights and opportunities for all. This is why I am a feminist. You cannot separate equal worth from gender equality. We must defeat gender discrimination and structural biases which hold women back from shaping society and even their own lives.”

    • H.E. Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden

    “We are deeply hurt by the phenomenon of domestic violence and we will carry out all the actions we can to fight against this scourge As part of this commitment, Uruguay implements a prevention, confrontation, reduction and reparation of violence based on gender national policy. HeForShe Campaign provides us a powerful and creative global platform that drives and supports our efforts to ensure a life free of gender-based violence for women. ”

    • H.E. Tabaré Vázquez, President of Uruguay

     

    Corporate IMPACT Champions

    “Gender equality is foundational to the culture and values of Electronic Arts, and we must champion it as a force for global change.  With more than 2.5 billion people around the world playing games today, interactive entertainment is uniquely positioned to advance this movement.  Gender equality is a human right, and we are committed to leading the conversation with our employees, our players and our industry.”

    • Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts

    “Gender equality is not a zero-sum game—it spurs opportunity and prosperity. Enabling both genders to contribute equally in business and their personal lives benefits all. When it comes to gender parity, leaders of all types have a vital role to play in creating the right tone throughout organizations and communities, inspiring women and men alike in building a culture of equality and eradicating gender-based siloes. Without steadfast commitment on every front and at every level, gender parity will remain elusive, and remember–all of us are or can be leaders!”

    • Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC International Ltd.

    “The vast majority of companies have introduced measures to increase gender diversity at the top, but many are still struggling to achieve significant results. Achieving gender parity is hard work, as we well know from our own experience. Changing outcomes on a scale that will move the needle will require relentless effort.”

    • Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

    “Companies have a key role to play as change agents to build a world where gender equality is a reality. It is a question of determination. Leading by example and engaging more men in these challenges will be one of my key priorities.”

    • Jean Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric

    “Barclays will only succeed if we relentlessly focus on building and maintaining a diverse and inclusive environment. An environment that values experience and empowers colleagues to prioritise their professional and personal lives is one that allows us all to succeed together. Dynamic working offers colleagues an opportunity to design their own work patterns. Enabling people to decide when, where and how they work helps increase engagement and productivity.”

    • Jes Staley, CEO, Barclays

    “Gender bias is deeply rooted in our community. Unlearning this bias is our immense challenge, yet this is the key to gender equality. As Koç Group, we focus on creating a new gender paradigm that will assist us achieving gender equality in the workplace and in the society.”

    • Ömer M. Koç, Chairman, Koç Holding

    “We must find ways to challenge the adverse norms and stereotypes holding women and men back, and companies, like Unilever, have an important role to do so. Via our Unstereotype initiative, we are using our expertise and understanding of the drivers of social norms to create a positive transformation, starting with our advertising.”

    • Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever

    “We realized that our research is not about Tupperware – it’s about studying a trend in the workplace, and showing that confidence is universal, translatable and ultimately valuable.”

    • Rick Goings, CEO, Tupperware Brands

    “In a Group like AccorHotels, where about 50% of our employees are women, diversity at every level in the company is not a cause we stand for: it is a vital issue and a key to sustainable performance. We are all – men and women alike – free to enjoy fulfilling professional careers.”

    • Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels

    “Our Instant Network classrooms give boys and girls the opportunity to learn on tablets and have access via our technology to knowledge and subjects at the same level as every other young person in the world. Education and technology can really improve their chances of having a better life, and maybe – as several told us – go back to their countries and help re-establish peaceful societies.”

    • Vittorio Colao, CEO, Vodafone

     

    University IMPACT Champions

    “Through the work of our Gender Equity Office, we have seen how it is possible to tackle the structural problem of gendered privilege that manifests on our campus in a myriad of ways, including gender based harm. By taking the steps to hear and support victims, challenge perpetrators and amplify the marginalized voices within our university community, we are learning that it is possible to chip away at deeply rooted cultures of privilege.”

    • Adam Habib, Principal & Vice-Chancellor, University of the Witwatersrand

    “Real, sustainable change does not result from the actions of a single person or vision. While the HeForShe commitments focus on opening doors to women and girls in science, technology, math and engineering (STEM), disciplines, meaningful change requires commitment across our entire campus, with students, faculty, staff and alumni coming together to share their stories, identify opportunities, envision solutions and put plans into action.”

    • Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice Chancellor, University of Waterloo

    “To reach effective gender equality is not an objective: it is our duty and our responsibility.

    • Frédéric Mion, President, Sciences Po

    “Our survey findings underscore an urgent and critical need to continue to address sexual assault and misconduct and provide us the information we need to better target and focus our work. Some of the action we take will be immediate, beginning in the coming days and weeks. Some action will require ongoing, sustained effort. All actions that we take will require the active engagement of our entire community.”

    • John DeGioia, President, Georgetown University

    “For me, the university is a privileged place, where education is a powerful instrument to develop long-term transformative changes of behaviors to address social issues such as violence against women and all types of discriminations.”

    • Marco Zago, President, University of São Paulo

    “A key component of our strategic plan is to develop talent in our people. We think the investments we make in developing our female staff will result in a transformation in the make-up of our university leaders into the next decade.”

    • Paul Boyle, President & Vice Chancellor University of Leicester

    “I have been shocked by the male predominance in higher education in Hong Kong, and even more concerned by the passive acceptance by many parties. I welcome the challenge of addressing this issue during my Presidency.”

    • Peter Mathieson, President & Vice-Chancellor, The University of Hong Kong

    “As a University President, I know how vital achieving equality is to our students’ success and well-being but even more than that, my commitment to gender equality is personal.”

    • Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President, Stony Brook University

    “I am committed to striving for more women in leadership positions. This commitment remains the most challenging because of the stereotypical belief among some people that women do not make good leaders in traditional Japanese culture. But we continue to provide our female colleagues with better opportunities to build up expertise so they can take on more leadership roles in the near future.

    • Seiichi Matsuo, President, Nagoya University

     

    ABOUT HeForShe

    Created by UN Women, the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality provides a systematic approach and targeted platform on which men and boys can engage and become change agents towards the achievement of gender equality. HeForShe invites men and boys to build on the work of the women’s movement as equal partners, crafting and implementing a shared vision of gender equality that will benefit all of humanity. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/en

    ABOUT HeForShe IMPACT CHAMPIONS

    IMPACT 10x10x10 engages key decision makers at governments, corporations and universities around the world to drive change from the top. IMPACT Champions make gender equality an institutional priority, committing to real change within and beyond each of their organizations. Each IMPACT Champion implements the HeForShe IMPACT framework and develops three bold, game-changing commitments to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality for all. Measurement and transparency will be at the heart of these commitments, so successful initiatives can serve as models for the political, corporate and academic world. For more information, visit http://www.heforshe.org/impact

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  2. Esprit partners with UN Women NC Australia for International Women’s Day – launching signature scarf for sale instore and online today

    Socially conscious company, Esprit, is once again teaming up with UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia to launch a signature scarf marking International Women’s Day on 8 March. Esprit is proud to continue its fifth year partnering with UN Women NC Australia, supporting the empowerment of women and girls across the globe. The accessory will be available in stores from February 27 and 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the scarves will go to UN Women programs, creating brighter futures for women and girls.

    In addition to the signature scarf, 20% of profits from all sales instore and online from 4-5 March will go to support UN Women.

    Stephen Newnham, Head of Retail Esprit Australia & New Zealand said, “It is an honour for Esprit ANZ to work so closely again with UN Women NC Australia and support this year’s theme. We are deeply committed to building a better awareness amongst our employees, consumers and the broader market of the important work that the UN Women’s committee delivers. We hope that our contribution and message enables women to be empowered through the UN Women’s projects across the globe.”

    Janelle Weissman, Executive Director of UN Women NC Australia, says “We are thrilled to have the wonderful support of Esprit for the 5th year running. The scarf is more than just a fashion statement; it is also a symbol of our passion for women’s empowerment and gender equality.”

    This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Empower a woman, empower a nation’. We know that when you empower a woman, you unlock opportunities not just for one woman, but for her children, for her family, whole communities – and entire nations. Purchasing a signature scarf is a tangible way to show support for women’s empowerment around the world, now and into the future.

    About the Scarf

    The signature print scarf has been designed to support women across the globe this International Women’s Day. Soft and lightweight, this accessory is perfect for transeasonal layering. The scarves are available for purchase in freestanding Esprit stores in Australia and New Zealand, Esprit concessions in Myer and online at www.esprit.com.au.

    Scarves will be sold for $39.95 in Australia and $49.90 in New Zealand.  Esprit stores will also be selling International Women’s Day purple ribbons for $3 each. 100% of proceeds from the sale of the scarves and ribbons will be donated to UN Women projects.

    About Esprit

    Founded in 1968, Esprit is an international fashion brand that pays homage to its roots and expresses a relaxed, sunny Californian attitude towards life. Esprit creates inspiring collections for women, men and kids made from high-quality materials paying great attention to detail. All of Esprit’s products demonstrate the Group’s commitment to quality design and execution.

    Esprit’s collections are available in over 40 countries worldwide, in more than 1,000 self-operated retail stores and through over 9,000 wholesale points of sales including franchise partners, and sales space in department stores. The Group markets its products under two brands, namely the Esprit brand and the edc brand. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange since 1993, Esprit has headquarters in Germany and Hong Kong.


    Media Enquiries

    Mira Radovanovic, Marketing Manager
    Esprit – Australia and New Zealand
    mira.radovanovic@esprit.com
    (02) 8586 0135

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  3. 2016 IWD Highlights: $425,000 raised to stop violence against women

     

    UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia is pleased to report that International Women’s Day (IWD) 2016 events and campaigns raised $425,000 for UN Women programs.

    In March, over 8,000 people stepped forward to support the work of UN Women National Committee Australia. Funds raised at IWD 2016 will be donated to UN Women projects in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific.

    Because of the incredible support from our partners and sponsors, event attendees, local event supporters and community fundraisers, UN Women can expand and support key programs working to deliver essential services to survivors of violence, and implement best-practice violence prevention programs – keeping women and children safe from harm.

    Funds raised across all IWD events will support and strengthen:

    • Shelters
    • Counselling services
    • Vocational training/education/support with career pathways to achieve financial independence and escape domestic violence
    • Prevention and education programs to change attitudes and promote healthy, respectful relationships

    Event highlights:

    More than 8,000 people attended UN Women NC Australia’s IWD events in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

    The theme for IWD 2016 was ‘Change her future’, focusing on the elimination of violence against women and girls. The theme provided a robust discussion at each of our events around what individuals, businesses, and governments can do to end violence against women and girls.

    Distinguished panel guests spoke at each event, with discussions focused on what still needs to be done.

    Over the course of our IWD campaign, UN Women NC Australia had the opportunity to reach families, workplaces and communities, challenging Australians to take steps towards achieving gender equality.

     

    The week was kicked off by welcoming more than 120 guests at our sixth annual IWD Parliamentary breakfast, commanding the attention of Members of Parliament, Departmental Secretaries and Deputy Secretaries. The event was co-hosted by Prime Minister the Hon Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader the Hon Bill Shorten MP.
    To view photos from UN Women National Committee Australia’s International Women’s Day events held around the country,

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

    If you would like to join our family of Empowerment Champions supporting UN Women projects by making a small contribution which makes a big difference each month, click here.

     

    Partnering to support gender equality

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

    Since 2013, Esprit has generously supported UN Women each March, for International Women’s Day. This year was no different. As a result of Esprit’s kind donation of 20 percent of all sales on 4-5 March 2016 and proceeds from this year’s signature purple scarf, Esprit contributed an impressive $71,574.

    UN Women National Committee Australia would like to thank everyone who celebrated International Women’s Day with us again in 2016. Together, we will create a brighter future for women and girls around the world.

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  4. Thank you for celebrating International Women’s Day in 2016

    UN Women National Committee Australia would like to extend a thank you to everyone who participated in our International Women’s Day celebrations in 2016.

    In particular, a warm thank you must go to our speakers, especially Sister Lorraine Garasu and Mr Tura Lewai, for travelling from the Pacific to speak at our events.

    For those of you who were fortunate to hear these powerful advocates speak at International Women’s day events, the message they shared was clear. Violence against women is not inevitable, nor is it an intractable problem.

    Tura reminded us to honour and acknowledge the contribution of women who have created safe spaces and institutions. It is now for all of us to continue their work to see an end to violence. In Tura’s words ‘We are connected. If you’re not free, I’m not free’.

    Sister Lorraine reminded us of the life changing power of education as a ‘ticket to freedom’ for women and girls everywhere. When women and girls have an education, they can better navigate relationships, are better equipped to leave violent situations and are able to provide for themselves and their families.

    UN Women NC Australia is grateful to our speakers for sharing their wisdom and insight, to our partners, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Aurizon, PwC and Esprit for supporting these events.

    We look forward to continuing to work with you all to ensure women around the world have choice, opportunity, and can live free from violence.

    Happy International Women’s Day.

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  5. Happy International Women’s Day from Natasha Stott Despoja, Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls

    On 8 March, the world celebrates its women and their achievements over many decades. We also reflect on the many areas where our efforts are still required to advance women’s empowerment.

    I began a new year of gender equality advocacy with a visit to Papua New Guinea in February. I travelled through the Autonomous Region of Bougainville with four local women parliamentarians, or “Pawa Meris” – Power Women – as female leaders are known in the Pidgin language.

    These Pawa Meris joined Bougainville’s Government in last year’s elections. It was a milestone achievement for a society recovering from a decade of civil war. Women played a key role in bringing about an end to the Bougainville conflict and they have been instrumental in building peace and progress ever since. Read more

    The story of Bougainville’s Pawa Meris is a familiar one. Wherever we look around the globe, women are overcoming long-standing discrimination and age old challenges to participate equally in government, the economy and community life.

    In Afghanistan, the national women’s cycling team has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, recognising the team’s work to promote social justice and an end to violence.

    In Zimbabwe, advocacy by two young women saw child marriage banned in January this year.

    And the Marshall Islands parliament has recently elected Dr Hilda Heine as its President, the first female leader of any independent Pacific island nation.

    I am encouraged by these developments. However, huge challenges remain for women in all countries, including Australia. Violence against women, barriers to equal economic participation and low levels of women’s participation in public life are a stark reminder of the importance of our ongoing work.

    In 2015, the world recommitted to women’s empowerment through the Sustainable Development Goals. This year – in forums like the upcoming UN Commission on the Status of Women – we will cement women’s empowerment at the heart of the sustainable development agenda through to 2030. “Planet 50:50 by 2030” is the catch cry.

    With my friends in Bougainville in mind, I’ll continue to be an active Pawa Meri. I hope you will join me.

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    Photo: Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, Natasha Stott Despoja, with Bougainville’s four women MPs: Hon Marcelline Kokiai, Hon Isabel Peta, Deputy Speaker Francesa Semoso and Minister for Community Development Josephine Getsi.

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  6. UN Women NC Australia launches innovative visual petition

    #FaceItTogether is a socially led, first of its kind initiative to help combat violence against women & girls in the Pacific 

    • Supporters are asked to pledge their image, rather than their signature at faceittogether.unwomen.org.au 
    • Each new image will sit atop an existing portrait, creating a single of all those who have contributed 
    • The petition launches on March 3, ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8.  Signatories have until March 13 to submit their portrait 
    • UN Women NC Australia is urging the public to upload their image and make a donation: either via the Face It Together website or by purchasing a purple campaign scarf from Esprit – with 100% of the sales from the scarf going to the cause. 

    UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia has today launched a visual petition to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8.  The first petition of its kind will see the creation of a single portrait, composed of the faces of all the men, women and children who pledge their support and image.  The petition, and the affiliated fundraising campaign, is designed to help women affected by violence in the Pacific.

    From today, a virtual platform at faceittogether.unwomen.org.au will allow users to take their photograph and submit it to the visual petition or upload an existing image of their choice. UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman has been the first celebrity to donate her face to this international petition.

    The site will also give pledgers the chance to share their image within the composition on social media using the hashtag #FaceItTogether.  Campaigners are urging supporters to do so and even request that individuals use the image as their profile picture for the duration of the campaign.

    As each day passes, pledgers will be able to revisit the site to see the composition evolve as more and more individuals commit their faces.

    Whilst campaigners are calling on Australians to join celebrities and prominent national figures in uploading their face, they are keen to stress that this alone will not bring about change: “Your face is your pledge, but your donation is the easiest way for you to show your support and invest in the elimination of violence against women’”, says Julie McKay, Executive Director of UN Women NC Australia.

    “If every person who pledges their image were to donate just $20, then we have a real chance of saving lives.  Make no mistake; this is a life and death issue.  Every ten minutes, somewhere in the world, a girl loses their life to violence.”

    As well as making a donation at faceittogether.unwomen.org.au supporters can purchase a purple campaign scarf from Esprit from February 29 – 100% of the sales from which will go to the cause.

    The campaign shines a light on violence against women and girls in the region, which is rampant:  as many as two in three women will experience violence and abuse at the hands of those closest to them.  In some places as many as 100% of women report experiencing violence.

    Violence often begins at an early age: in Vanuatu for example, 30% of women experience child sexual abuse under the age of 15, whilst 41% report a forced first sexual experience.  In Fiji, one third of females who experience violence are girls under 16.

    “Put simply, the Pacific Region is one of the most dangerous places to be born a girl,” says McKay.

    “Whilst in Australia, we have the resources to combat violence, the Pacific contains some of the least developed nations in the world.  Most of them lack basic infrastructure, like hotlines and specialist health care teams.  Yet these countries are our closest neighbours.  Not even 4km separates Australia with Papua New Guinea; 4km that can mean the difference between life and death for a woman at the hands of entirely preventable violence.”

    Money raised will build on the strides already made in recent years: from increased access to shelters for women at imminent risk, to the establishment of a 24 hour crisis hotline.

    In addition, campaign funded vocational training and education programs are beginning to equip women with the tools to escape violence, change attitudes and help promote healthy, respectful relationships. Resources have also been expended on galvanising influential locals, from village chiefs to faith community leaders, who have been fundamental in introducing a culture of zero tolerance.

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  7. Esprit partners with UN Women NC Australia for International Women’s Day – launching purple charity scarf for sale online and in-store

    • Purple charity scarf will launch in stores on February 29, to mark International Women’s Day on March 8 
    • 100 per cent of the sales of the scarves will go to preventing violence against women & girls in the Pacific, which will be the focus of campaigning in 2016 
    • Head of UN Women NC Australia declares that violence against females in the Pacific has reached “epidemic” proportions, with two in three women experiencing violence and abuse at the hands of those closest to them 
    • In some parts of the region, as many as 100% of women report experiencing violence. 

    Esprit has teamed up with UN Women National Committee (NC) Australia to launch a purple scarf to mark International Women’s Day on March 8.  The accessory will be available in stores from February 29 and 100 per cent of the proceeds from the sale of the scarves will go to helping prevent violence against women & girls in the Pacific.

    Chris Laverty, head of Esprit Australia said, “We are supporting UN Women NC Australia for the fourth year in a row because in our minds there are few issues more vital, nor more urgent than addressing the continued levels of violence against women and girls in the Pacific.”

    Julie McKay, head of the UN Women NC Australia, says the Pacific region is the “epicentre” for violence against females.

    Violence often begins at an early age: in Vanuatu for example, 30% of women experience child sexual abuse under the age of 15, whilst 41% report a forced first sexual experience.  In Fiji, one third of females who experience violence are girls under 16.

    In addition, 20% of all Esprit sales instore and online from March 5 and 6 will be donated to advance UN Women’s work to eliminate violence against women in the Pacific.

    About the Scarf

    The scarf has been colour matched to represent the official International Women’s Day purple hue.  Soft and lightweight, this accessory is perfect for transeasonal layering.  The scarves are available for purchase in freestanding Esprit stores in Australia and New Zealand, Myer concessions stores and online at www.esprit.com.au

    Scarves will be sold for $39.95 in Australia and $49.90 in New Zealand. Esprit stores will also be selling International Women’s Day purple ribbons for $3 each.

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  8. International Women’s Day Speakers announced

    UN Women NC Australia are delighted to announce speakers for our International Women’s Day (IWD) events.

    In 2016, the focus of our events is the elimination of violence against women and girls. Violence against women and girls remains one of the most pervasive violations of human rights, one of the least prosecuted crimes, and one of the greatest threats to peace and development. Women in the Pacific face an epidemic of violence within their relationships and their homes. Shockingly, two out of three Pacific women experience violence from a husband or partner.

    We are pleased to welcome Sister Lorraine Garasu, Mr Tura Lewai, Dr Susan Harris Rimmer and Elizabeth Broderick to speak at our events.

    Our speakers work across our region, in Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Australia to champion the rights of women and to eliminate violence against women and girls.

    Tura Lewai is a Fiji national, an activist for women’s rights and the only representative from Oceania who is a member of the UN Secretary Generals Network of Male Leaders. Tura works actively to address men and boys attitudes that perpetuate violence against women and works with the UN’s Partners for Prevention (P4P) program that provides new knowledge and technical support to prevent gender-based violence in the region.

    “Men don’t punch the first person they meet, they wait until they get home. That’s not about anger, that’s about power… the more people realize this, the less excuses they can make for perpetrators”. 

    Tura will be speaking at events in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

    Sister Lorraine is the head of the Nazareth Centre for Rehabilitation in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, and a courageous counsellor and advocate.  The Centre works to reduce violence against women by providing integrated support services to women and children and by building non-violent communities, including engaging men and boys through education to prevent and reduce ongoing violence.

    “I made a decision to start this Centre, so that we could have women and children coming—and also men and boys—to get help because they were so traumatised…   We found there was so much violence and no way to help people recover and heal.” 

    Sister Lorraine will be speaking at events in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

    Dr Susan Harris Rimmer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Associate Professor at Griffith University Law School. Sue has a track record in influencing government to adopt progressive policy ideas, including the creation of the position of the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, and in 2014 she was named one of the Westpac and Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence in the Global category.

    “Let’s consider the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than 1 billion women and girls… this fact deserves a serious policy response.” 

    Susan will be speaking at the event in Brisbane.

    Elizabeth Broderick is the Former Sex Discrimination Commissioner and a global advocate for women’s human rights. Elizabeth is Global Co-Chair of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group, a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women; and a member of the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development. Elizabeth was the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014, and NSW Australian of the Year in 2016.

    “I will use my influence to create a world where a woman’s value does not decrease because of another’s inability to see her worth, a world where vulnerability transitions into power, where difference is celebrated, where leadership is shared equally and where each half of humanity respects and embraces the other half. How will you use yours?”

    Elizabeth will be speaking at the event in Sydney.

     

     

    Purchase your tickets today. 

     

     

     

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  9. 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.

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  10. PRIME MINISTER AND OPPOSITION LEADER JOIN THE #HEFORSHE MOVEMENT FOR GENDER EQUALITY

    THE HON. TONY ABBOTT, PRIME MINISTER AND THE HON. BILL SHORTEN, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION HOSTED THE AUSTRALIAN LAUNCH UN WOMEN’S HEFORSHE CAMPAIGN TODAY IN CANBERRA.

    Parliamentarians, Departmental Secretaries, representatives of civil society and military leaders attended the Australian National Committee for UN Women’s Parliamentary Breakfast on Tuesday morning, at Parliament House. The event marked the start of the International Women’s Day 2015 campaign.

    UN Women’s HeForShe Campaign asks men to pledge to take active steps in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Men will be asked to speak up when they witness sexual harassment, to mentor women, to seek more flexibility at work and to promote women’s contributions to all aspects of our society. It is the hope of the National Committee that in 2015, 100,000 Australian men will pledge their support for the campaign.

    All attendees, including the Prime Minister of Australia and the Leader of the Opposition, were invited to officially sign on to the HeforShe campaign as a symbol of their commitment to gender equality.

    “There are many things that divide us, but gender equality and women’s empowerment should not be one. I am pleased today that our leaders will come together, recognising the critical role that men play in advancing gender equality and I hope that all Australians will follow the Prime Minister and Mr Shorten’s lead” said Executive Director of UN Women Australia, Julie McKay.

    “Gender equality is a major barrier to social and economic development across the world. It is fundamentally, an issue of who controls power. HeforShe asks men to recognize the privilege they have and to take active steps to ensure they are supporting gender equality in their homes, workplaces and community”.

    “Gender equality is a major barrier to social and economic development across the world. It is fundamentally, an issue of who controls power. HeforShe asks men to recognize the privilege they have and to take active steps to ensure they are supporting gender equality in their homes, workplaces and community”.

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