Today, I celebrate with my sisters and brothers the world over who fight for justice. I honour the giants who have come before me, working tirelessly for women’s agency, voice and fundamental rights.
And today, I invite you to join me in marking a milestone: ten years ago, on the 2nd of July 2010, the UN General Assembly voted to establish the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. UN Women was born. In the past ten years, so much progress has been made—and yet, there is so much work to be done, especially as we watch COVID-19 ravage communities, economies and health systems.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted so many broken systems in our world, where those who are most vulnerable—whether through age, poverty, race and/or gender—become exponentially more so. From the moment the pandemic took hold, UN Women drew worldwide attention to specific tolls on women and girls. UN Women was the first and most prominent voice urging action on escalating rates of gender-based violence during lockdowns worldwide. We collaborated with others to define family-friendly policies and good workplace practices, and ensure that social protection efforts cushioned economic hardship for women and girls.
Looking forward, we will draw on our resources and experiences in protecting and advancing the rights of all women and girls. That is what we do and who we are, as a global leader, mobiliser, convener, provider of programs and partner for change.
UN Women’s track records speaks for itself. In partnership with governments, grassroots organisations and activists, in the past year alone, UN Women has:
- extended legal aid to more than 150,000 women
- delivered humanitarian relief to 509,000 women and girls
- adopted 82 laws in 40 countries to empower women in the economy
- scaled up support to women and girl survivors of violence in 49 countries
UN Women is driving the global movement to dismantle gender barriers and end all forms of discrimination and violence, because we believe in a world of justice and human rights for everyone. I am proud to be a part of the largest movement for gender equality anywhere in the world: UN Women. And I invite you to join us.
At UN Women Australia, we call on anyone who wants to be part of setting the agenda for gender equality to become a member. There is power in numbers, and we want you to be part of the change.
Your UN Women Australia membership will provide invaluable support needed to promote gender equality in Australia and across the globe.
The challenges are significant, but as we build bridges and bring people together to set an agenda for equality, not insurmountable. We must not rebuild the old world but make women and girls central to a brighter future for all. Will you join the movement?