Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015

Bill home page  


Download WordDownload Word


Download PDFDownload PDF

 

 

 

2013-2014-2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PARLIAMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL AID (PROMOTING GENDER EQUALITY) BILL 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Circulated by the authority of Senator Rhiannon)

 

 



 

International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015

 

Outline

 

Purpose of Bill

 

The International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015 directs Commonwealth aid officials to consider the impact of any official development or humanitarian assistance in reducing gender inequality.

 

The Bill is a standalone bill that does not relate to, or impact on, any existing legislation.

 

The importance of incorporating regard for gender equality into decisions about official development and humanitarian assistance is apparent from Millennium Development Goal 3: to ‘promote gender equality and empower women’ and is also highlighted in the proposed Sustainable Development Goals where Goal 5 is stated as ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

 

The legislation recognises the need for a particular assessment of how official development and humanitarian assistance operates to promote gender equality, as the assumption that simply increasing economic activity fails to recognise the specific historical and cultural bases for gender inequality. In some cases, projects with a simple aim of increasing economic activity may indeed exacerbate these problems.

 

An equivalent bill entitled the International Development (Gender Equality) Act 2014 , was initiated by conservative Member for Parliament Mr. William Cash and was passed by the UK government with bipartisan support.

 

 

NOTES ON CLAUSES

 

Part 1 - Preliminary

 

Clause 1 - Short title

 

This clause provides for the Bill, when enacted, to be cited as the International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Act 2015.

 

Clause 2 - Commencement

 

This clause provides for the Bill to commence on the day after it receives the Royal Assent.

 

Clause 3 - Definitions

 

This clause gives definition to the terms used in the Bill, being ‘Commonwealth aid official’, ‘Minister for Foreign Affairs’, ‘humanitarian assistance’, and ‘official development assistance’.

 

 



Part 2 - Promoting gender equality

 

Clause 4 - Duty to have regard to gender equality

 

Subsection (1) directs all Commonwealth aid officials, as defined in Clause 3, when making decisions about providing official development assistance, to consider the impact of any assistance on gender equality.

 

Subsection (2) directs all Commonwealth aid officials, as defined in Clause 3, when making decisions about providing humanitarian assistance, to consider the impact of any assistance on gender equality.

 

 

Clause 5 - Reporting on the use of international aid to promote gender equality

 

Subsection (1) requires the Minister to report in relation to each financial year to both Houses of Parliament on how the Commonwealth has used international aid to promote gender equality.

 

Subsection (2) requires the Minister to submit this report within 15 sitting days of the completion of the financial year.

 

 

 

 



Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights

Prepared in accordance with Part 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011

 

International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015

 

This Bill is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 .

 

Overview of the Bill

 

The International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015 directs that any use of official development or humanitarian assistance must be carried out with regard to supporting gender equality.

 

 

Human rights implications

 

This Bill engages the full content of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

 

Conclusion

 

This Bill is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.

 

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon