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Promoting opportunities for all—Gender equality and women's empowerment


This document outlines Australia's efforts to promote gender equality and women's empowerment.


The Australian Government has committed to remaining a firm and persistent advocate and practical supporter of gender equality, and has identified gender equality as a critical cross-cutting theme across the aid program. Three of the ten development objectives of An Effective Aid Program for Australia specifically address gender equality and the empowerment of women. These are: empowering women to participate in the economy, leadership and education; saving lives of poor women through provision of quality maternal health care services; and enabling more girls to attend school.

Gender equality is central to economic and human development and to supporting women's rights. Equal opportunity for women and men supports economic growth and helps to reduce poverty.

To deliver real results and improve the lives of women and men, their families, and their communities Australia will organise the work on gender equality and women's empowerment around four pillars:

  1. Advancing equal access to gender-responsive health and education services
  2. Increasing women's voice in decision-making, leadership, and peace-building
  3. Empowering women economically and improving their livelihood security
  4. Ending violence against women and girls at home, in their communities, and in disaster and conflict situations.

Australia will continue to invest strongly in improving gender equality across the aid program with a focus on what works, is effective aid and achieves results. This will include a more strategic and targeted focus in the areas where progress has been slow: women's economic empowerment, women's leadership, and ending violence against women. We expect the highest levels of expenditure in countries with the most severe gender gaps and constraints, including fragile states and conflict-affected countries.

Promoting opportunities for all–Gender equality and women's empowerment [PDF 1.34mb]

Last Updated: 24 September 2014
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