Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

UN Commission on the Status of Women: Eliminating violence against women and girls

The Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, has welcomed to New York the Australian delegation and non-government organisation participants to the 57th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 57), which begins tomorrow.

Ms Collins is leading the Australian delegation at CSW, the world’s main policy-making body dedicated to gender equality and the advancement of women.

“The theme of the Commission on the Status of Women this year is the elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls,” Ms Collins said.

“The Australian delegation is made up of remarkable women who bring extensive experience and knowledge of the impacts of violence against women.

“We will be strongly represented throughout the formal negotiations process at this year’s forum.

“Our participants from non-government organisations will also make a valuable contribution to this important global forum.

“The delegates will work closely with other nations work towards agreement on the conclusions, which each year include an analysis of the theme and a set of concrete recommendations to be implemented.”

The Australian delegation includes the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, Penny Williams, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, and four women selected from non-government organisations:

  • Rebecca Vassarotti, as a community sector delegate
  • Michelle Deshong, as an Indigenous delegate
  • Karin Swift, representing women with disabilities
  • Adut Zita Deng Ngor, representing women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds

While in New York, Ms Collins will meet with the Head of UN Women, Michelle Bachelet. UN Women is the lead agency in the United Nations responsible for promoting gender equality and empowering women.

Minister Collins will discuss Australia’s approach to ending violence against women and share insights from Australia’s experience with Ms Bachelet. In 2012-13 Australia will provide $8 million in core funding to support UN Women.

Ms Collins will visit Washington on March 8, International Women’s Day, where she will participate in a panel examining domestic and international initiatives aimed at improving gender equality.

Ms Collins said Australia has a strong role to play internationally in advancing the status of women.

“We are committed to ending violence against women and girls and believe that to make a real and sustained difference, all levels of government and the wider community must work together,” Ms Collins said.

“We have outlined these goals through the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

“Under the National Plan, we have committed $86 million to initiatives to improve the lives of women who have experienced violence and to prevent violence from occurring in the first place.”

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