Gender equality statements
UN Security Council
Australian Statement: Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 20 October 2022.
Across the world, women demand to be heard, advocate for the fulfilment of human rights, mediate conflicts and negotiate peace. Where women are absent – by force or discriminatory norms and structures – peace does not prevail. Where women human rights defenders are persecuted, peace does not prevail. Where the knowledge and networks of diverse women are disregarded, including in relation to climate, disasters and terrorism, insecurity and instability reign.
Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security Statement: Open Debate on the Role of Regional Organizations in Implementing Women, Peace and Security, 15 June 2022.
Regional and sub-regional organizations play an important role in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security resolutions. In conflicts and crises, including in contexts of seizures of power by force, regional organizations and regional networks provide support in conflict prevention, mediation and resolution. We urge them to promote women’s full, equal and meaningful participation in all aspects and at all levels of peace and security processes.
Australian Statement: Open debate on sexual violence in conflict, 13 April 2022
Women and girls continue to face appalling levels of sexual violence in conflict-affected settings, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Syria and Iraq. Concerned by increasing reports of acts of sexual violence against women and girls in Ukraine, Australia supports the work of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine that will investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights.
Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security Statement: Open Debate of the UN Security Council on Advancing the WPS agenda through partnerships, 8 March 2022
On behalf of the 56 Member States of the Group of Friends of Women, Peace, and Security, Iceland expressed shared solidarity with all women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and advocates for gender equality around the world who are tirelessly working to build peace, defend human rights and implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda.
Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security Statement: UN Security Council Open Debate on Protecting Participation. 18 January 2022
The Group of Friends of Women, Peace and Security condemn all threats, harassment, attacks, and reprisals against women peacebuilders, human rights defenders and gender equality advocates, and call for the Security Council and the UN system to develop effective measures to prevent and respond to reprisals.
Australian Statement: Protecting Participation: Addressing Violence Targeting Women in Peace and Security Processes, 18 January 2022
It is critical that women participate fully, equally, and meaningfully in all peace and security processes without the threat of reprisals, intimidation, or violence. Australia will continue to stand with our partners to strengthen women’s participation and protect those at risk of and subjected to violence.
Australian Statement: UNSC Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 21 October 2021
MIKTA Joint Statement: UNSC Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security, 21 October 2021
Australia’s national and the statement delivered on behalf of the MIKTA countries – Indonesia, Mexico, Türkiye, the Republic of Korea, and, Australia addressed the theme of the UNSG report and topic of the debate “investing in women in peacekeeping and peacebuilding”.
Australia highlighted the recent challenges to women and girls' rights, security and safety in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Tigray and the critical importance of full and prompt implementation of the WPS agenda. Implementation of the WPS agenda requires inclusive and sustained action at all levels, from the grassroots to global gatherings. It is essential that we work with, and support the leadership of, women civil society actors, human rights defenders and peacebuilders. Australia commits to systematically mainstreaming gender in our responses to and recovery from COVID-19 to maintain the momentum towards gender equality and women's empowerment.
Australian Statement: UNSC Open Debate on Women Peace and Security, 29 October 2020
Group of Friends’ Statement: UNSC Open Debate on Women Peace and Security, 29 October 2020
MIKTA Statement: UNSC Open Debate on Women Peace and Security, 29 October 2020
Australia delivered a national, Group of Friends and a MIKTA statement on the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which set the foundation for the WPS agenda. Australia recognised the disproportionate impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women and girls are posing a great risk of reversing our hard-won gains on gender equality and women’s empowerment, reflecting that the WPS Agenda remains as relevant as it did 20 years ago. Australia committed to improving the number and influence of women in national security services, including by meeting the UN’s Uniformed Gender Parity targets and funding the Elsie Initiative to increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women.
Commission of the Status of Women
The 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (15-25 March 2022) focussed on achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls in the context of climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programs.
Australia delivered a national statement and joined statements by the Pacific Island Forum member states, MIKTA, the UN Group of Friends for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, the LGBTI Core Group and the US-led Joint Statement on the Ukraine.
UN General Assembly
Third Committee 76th Session
Joint Statement: Generation Equality Forum, 18 November 2021
Held in 2021, the Generation Equality Forum was a major multi-stakeholder initiative of recent years for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Australia is committed to and called on Member States to join this global effort to for the full implementation of the landmark 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
Third Committee 75th Session
Whether in the home, workplace, education or community, all forms of violence against women and girls constitute grave human rights violations. In this statement, Australia reaffirmed its determination to end gender-based violence, domestically and in our region.
Third Committee 74th Session
Australia welcomed the Special Rapporteur’s report on a human rights-based approach to mistreatment and violence against women and supported the conclusions and recommendations
Human Rights Council
Australia demand the Taliban honour its commitments and call on the international community to ensure accountability by bringing perpetrators of crimes involving abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law to justice.
As we confront the climate crisis, women’s and girls’ human rights must be at the centre of our collective efforts. Climate change and its consequences can exacerbate the risk of sexual and gender-based violence. This risk is most acute for women and girls facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and inequality, including indigenous women and girls.
In many parts of the world, gender inequality, discriminatory social norms and cultural taboos, and a lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services mean that menstrual hygiene needs go unmet.
Violence against indigenous women and girls is a human rights violation, underpinned by intersecting forms of structural discrimination. Australia is committed to combatting this violence.
The advocacy of women and girls of all ages, backgrounds and identities is essential for eliminating all forms of discrimination. Australia is committed to working with, and protecting space for, civil society, especially women and girl human rights defenders
Australian Statement: Annual Discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the work of the Human Rights Council and that of its mechanisms: The gender digital divide in times of the COVID-19 pandemic, 27 September 2021
Australian Statement: Annual Full-Day Discussion on the Human Rights of Women: Gender-Equal Socioeconomic Recovery from COVID-19, delivered by Ambassador for Gender Equality Julie-Ann Guivarra, 5-6 July 2021
Australian Statement: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on the Elimination of discrimination against women and girls: SRHR in crisis, delivered by Ambassador for Gender Equality Julie-Ann Guivarra, 25 June 2021
Australian Statement: Panel COVID-19 and the Rights of Women and Girls, delivered by former Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Minister for Women Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, 14 July 2020 [DOCX 119 KB] | [PDF 131 KB]
Australian Statement: Interactive Dialogue with the Working Group on the Elimination of discrimination against women and girls, delivered by the Ambassador for Gender Equality Julie-Ann Guivarra, 7 July 2020 [DOCX 121 KB] | [PDF 77 KB]
International Ministerial Conference on Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI), 28-29 November 2022
At the PSVI International Conference in London, Australia made a national statement and joined over 50 countries in endorsing the Declaration on Conflict-Related Sexual Violence. The Declaration calls for the international community to accelerate action to end conflict-related sexual violence, hold those responsible to account, shatter the existing culture of impunity, and provide more comprehensive support to survivors. Conflict-related sexual violence is an abuse of human rights. Australia is steadfast in supporting survivors of sexual violence, and in seeing an end to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. We maintain zero tolerance for sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in all contexts, operations and missions.
International Women’s Day
The 2022 United Nations theme for International Women’s Day is Changing climates: Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow. This year we recognise the women and girls who are leading the charge on climate change adaptation, mitigation, and response, to build a sustainable future for all. Watch Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women speak about Australia’s support for socially inclusive and gender-responsive climate action and policy.
Australia Condemns Sexual Violence as Weapon of War in Joint International Statement
The Australian Government is proud to join the international United Kingdom-led statement condemning the use of sexual violence and rape as weapons of war.
Former Foreign Ministers statement: Australia Condemns Sexual Violence as Weapon of War in Joint International Statement, 18 November 2021
Strengthening international cooperation to combat sexual violence in conflict
Australia joined a UK-led statement – with Canada, New Zealand, Indonesia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Liberia – to strengthen international cooperation to combat sexual violence in conflict.
Beijing +25 (link)
Australian Statement: High-level meeting on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women, delivered by former Minister for Foreign Affairs and former Minister for Women Senator the Honourable Marise Payne, 1 October 2020 [DOCX 23 KB] | [PDF 115 KB]