Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

First National Action Plan to empower and protect women and girls in conflict zones

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon Warren Snowdon MP, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel
    The Hon Jason Clare MP, Minister for Home Affairs

The Gillard Government has today, International Women’s day, unveiled a landmark national plan to protect women and girls in conflict and post-conflict situations around the world.

The Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security also aims to encourage greater participation of women in preventing conflict and building peace.

The new plan is a Gillard Government 2010 election commitment and marks the Government’s continued efforts to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and related resolutions calling on member states to develop National Action Plans.

The UNSCR 1325 addresses the impact of war and armed conflict on women and girls. It also highlights the critical role women can play in preventing conflict and achieving peace in their communities.

The National Action Plan has been launched by the Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins, at the Garden Island naval base in Sydney.

“The plan represents the Gillard Government’s commitment to integrating a gender perspective in all Australian peace and security efforts,” Ms Collins said.

“Around 90 per cent of casualties in recent conflicts have been civilians with the majority of victims women and children, and tragically sexual and gender-based violence has been on the increase.”

“Women and girls already play an important role in preventing and resolving conflict, but they are often not included in formal decision-making processes around peace and security.

“This is a particular concern given the disproportionate impact that conflict has on women and girls,” Ms Collins said.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, said the National Action Plan will also strengthen the work the Australian Government is doing on the ground in countries affected by conflict and through its policy frameworks and diplomatic relations.

“Protecting women and girls in conflict and post-conflict settings should be a priority for all Governments,” Mr Snowdon said.

Minister for Home Affairs, Jason Clare, said the Australian Federal Police were already working with other police forces in the region to increase awareness of the unique issues facing women and girls in places of conflict.

“The AFP is doing important, practical work in our region to help promote awareness of the impact of conflict on women and girls,” Mr Clare said.

“The National Women’s Action Plan is critical to the AFP’s ongoing role in promoting the rights of women in conflict and post-conflict environments.”

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