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Respect for women must be part of our cultural heritage.



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Wed, 29th October 2008 RESPECT FOR WOMEN MUST BE PART OF OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE

Mrs Sophie Mirabella MP Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Childcare, Women and Youth

The Government must ensure that information on the rights and equality of women remains part of the Citizenship Test, Shadow Minister for Women Sophie Mirabella said today.

“A basic building block for preventing a culture of violence against women is to ensure that there is respect for and recognition of the equality that women have in our society. Respect is a vital first step.”

“The Government has established the National Council for Reducing Violence against Women and Children, as one of its 156 Committees and Reviews. That Committee is working on an Action Plan that will be presented later this year and I look forward to some positive suggestions,” Mrs Mirabella said.

Mrs Mirabella said her own experience, as a daughter of migrants, provided a personal insight into the different attitudes towards women in other cultures.

“Respect for women is a fundamental part of Australian Society and we have a duty to equip all Australians with information and resources to assist them in becoming part of the great Australian family,” Mrs Mirabella said.

“Accordingly we need to ensure that those who choose to make Australia their home understand and accept that the fundamental right of women to participate equally in society is a strong part of our culture and our heritage. The Citizenship Test seems to be an ideal way of re-affirming these important Australian beliefs.”

“The Government must ensure that information and questions on Australian values and expected treatment and equality of women remain as part of the Australian Citizenship Test,” Mrs Mirabella said

“The current documents given to those seeking citizenship contain brief information on the rights of women - we need to ensure that this information is not watered down as part of the current Review into the Citizenship Test.”

Mrs Mirabella said she had written to the Minister for Immigration the Hon Senator Chris Evans, asking that he ensure the Government includes facts on the rights of women in Australia in the information provided for those undertaking the Citizenship Test and that the subject is included in the multiple choice questions.