DFAT Gender Equality and women’s empowerment strategy, courtesy of Julie Bishop

Promoting gender equality is smart economics, and the right thing to do – we cannot transform our world unless the place of women within it is transformed.

The Australian Government has a steadfast and ongoing commitment to be at the forefront of efforts to promote the empowerment of women and girls, particularly in our Indo-Pacific region.

Australia’s Aid Policy, launched in June 2014, establishes gender equality and women’s empowerment as a priority for development, and sets an ambitious target requiring that eighty per cent of all Australia’s aid, regardless of objectives, perform effectively in promoting gender equality.

Beyond aid, it is clear that there are many more opportunities for Australia to advocate on these issues internationally, and in our foreign policy and economic relationships. The role of the Ambassador for Women and Girls is central in pursuing this agenda.

In 2014 I asked the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to inquire into and report on The human rights issues confronting women and girls in the Indian Ocean – Asia Paci c region. The Committee has also completed an inquiry into The role of the private sector in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty in the Indo-Paci c region. These inquiries have produced important reports that will contribute to Australia’s efforts across our foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development programs, to drive our contribution to women’s empowerment and gender equality.

The level of support in the Australian community for our leadership and advocacy on these issues is strong. There is a groundswell of international attention on these issues, including in the G7, the G20 and in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. There are increasing international commitments to address the impacts of violence against women and girls, and to promote the important contribution gender equality makes to leadership and economic growth.

This strategy outlines the Government’s efforts on gender equality by strengthening our ability to engage in policy dialogue in the region and beyond; and upholding our international reputation as a global leader on gender equality and women’s empowerment. We look forward to working with all our partners, in foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development, to take concrete action promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment as central to our interests in promoting sustainable economic growth and reducing poverty in our region.

Julie Bishop

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Get the full report here.

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