International Women's Day

Joint media release:

  • The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
  • Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women

4 March 2014

The Australian Government is marking International Women's Day with a focus on our efforts and progress towards gender equality for women and girls around the world.

International Women's Day, celebrated during the week of Saturday, 8 March, is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women and consider what we can do to overcome the hurdles preventing their political, economic and social empowerment.

Empowering women is one of the best ways to promote economic development and growth, and to achieve peace and security.

This is why around half of Australia's aid budget is spent on initiatives, policies and programs that have at their heart a significant focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

This International Women's Day is the first since the appointment of Natasha Stott Despoja as Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls. Her role embodies the Australian Government's commitment to use foreign policy and overseas aid to improve the status of women globally.

Ambassador Stott Despoja's geographic priority will be the Indian Ocean Asia Pacific region where the challenges to gender equality are critical. These challenges include increasing women's participation in the economy and leadership positions and reducing the rate of violence against women.

Minister Michaelia Cash will lead Australia's delegation at the United Nations' 58th session of the Commission of the Status of Women in New York later this week. She will be joined by Ambassador Stott Despoja.

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555