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Minister address United Nations on gender equality.



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Parliament House Telephone 02 6277 7780

CANBERRA ACT 2600 Facsimile 02 6273 7096

Website www.tanyaplibersek.fahcsia.gov.au

MINISTER ADDRESSES UNITED NATIONS ON GENDER EQUALITY

Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, is this week leading Australia’s delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York to further demonstrate the Australian Government’s commitment to gender equality.

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to promoting the advancement of women.

Representatives of over 190 countries have gathered for the annual meeting which is this year focussing on the development of more effective ways to support men and women sharing care more equally.

The Minister delivered Australia’s Country Statement early Thursday morning, Australian time.

Ms Plibersek will also speak at the United Nations International Women’s Day event to be attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday morning, Australian time.

Australia is pursuing three key priority areas for advancing gender equality:

a. improving women’s economic outcomes and financial independence;

b. ensuring women’s voices are heard at all levels of decision-making; and,

c. reducing violence against women.

“It is important the United Nations is informed of the Australian Government’s progress on gender equality,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Today, I updated the Commission on the Government’s progress to improve women’s economic outcomes, ensure women’s voices are heard at all levels of decision-making and reduce violence against women.”

“I was also pleased to report that Australia’s accession to the United Nations Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) came into effect today, New York time.”

Ms Plibersek is conducting meetings with United Nations leaders as well bi-lateral discussions with countries including Indonesia, Spain, Norway and New Zealand.

In addition, Ms Plibersek will today host a Commission side event for two Indigenous women, June Oscar and Emily Carter, who will showcase a documentary of their story in reducing domestic violence and alcohol foetal syndrome through the introduction of alcohol restrictions in their community of Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia.

Ms Plibersek will jointly host the event with Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick and Australia’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Robert Hill.

Media contact: Darrin Barnett 0428 119 703 Thursday March 5, 2009