THE HON. SCOTT MORRISON, PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, AND THE HON. ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, WILL CO-HOST THE AUSTRALIAN LAUNCH OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY THIS MORNING.
Ministers, Parliamentarians, Departmental Secretaries, and military leaders will gather together for UN Women Australia’s Parliamentary Breakfast held at Parliament House, this morning. The event marks the launch of International Women’s Day 2021 celebrations across Australia. International Women’s Day is recognised worldwide on March 8th.
Central to gender equality is ensuring our leaders work together in support of that goal. Therefore launching International Women’s Day in Parliament House in Canberra is an important Australian tradition. Australia has a long history of supporting International Women’s Day (IWD). Central to this, is the partnership between UN Women Australia and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which supports public IWD events in many capital cities and virtually to highlight the achievements of women in our region.
This IWD, UN Women’s global theme is ‘Women in Leadership’. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the disproportionate burdens that women carry and the centrality of women’s contributions to decision making. Across the globe, women are leading organisations, nations and institutions carrying out effective and inclusive COVID-19 responses, from the highest levels of decision-making through to frontline service delivery. As the UN Secretary-General said this week, following the pandemic “progress on gender equality has been set back years”.
The 2021 theme recognises the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future. With diverse women equally represented around decision-making tables, their different experiences, perspectives and skills make invaluable contributions to decisions, policies and laws that work better for all.
Today’s breakfast is also an opportunity to reinforce calls for gender equality and to urge our leaders to take action to advance that goal. We are committed to working to ensure that women’s safety and security, including in their workplaces, is a paramount goal.
The impact of COVID-19 has been hardest felt by women and girls, experiencing increased rates of violence, job and wage loss and the burden of care. For women in the Pacific, these impacts have been exacerbated by a halt in tourism and cyclone season that caused widespread damage to property and livelihoods. In the Pacific and around the world, UN Women has collected vital data to understand impacts on women and inform policy responses; assisted services supporting women experiencing violence to pivot to respond to growing demand; and supported women as market vendors and leaders to carry out COVID-19 safe trading to safeguard financial independence and food security.
“UN Women’s global IWD theme, Women in Leadership, is a vital reminder of the benefits of having diverse women leading in every facet of social, economic and political life. Women’s equal participation as leaders drives more profitable and productive economies, flourishing businesses and a healthier and more peaceful planet.” – Janelle Weissman, Executive Director of UN Women Australia.
Media are welcome to attend. Executive Director, Janelle Weissman, is available for interviews.
Details: Thursday 25 February 2021. Great Hall, Parliament House. 7.15am for 7.30am – 8.30am.