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Senator Kroger, also on behalf of Senators Cash and Boyce, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 664—That the Senate—

 (a) notes that 8 March is International Women's Day (IWD) and that the theme for IWD 2012 is `Empower Rural Women - End Hunger and Poverty';

 (b) acknowledges the work that UN Women, the United Nations (UN) organisation dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, undertakes to improve the conditions of women, both domestically and internationally;

 (c) notes the statement made by Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General on International Women's Day 2005 that `study after study has taught us that there is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women. No other policy is as likely to raise economic productivity, or to reduce infant and maternal mortality. No other policy is as sure to improve nutrition and promote health - including the prevention of HIV/AIDS. No other policy is as powerful in increasing the chances of education for the next generation';

 (d) acknowledges:

  (i) that despite the many rights and privileges Australian women enjoy, there remain challenges that we must strive to overcome, and

  (ii) that rural women with disabilities are particularly at risk;

 (e) notes, with concern, that in Australia, violence against women is still far too common, with Australian Bureau of Statistics data continuing to show that 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence since the age of 15; and

 (f) recognises that Australians have a fundamental obligation to speak out and protect the human rights of women, both in Australia and overseas.

Question put and passed.