Media Release by The Hon Julie Collins MP

Australian delegation at UN Commission on Status of Women

Australia has presented its country statement at the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, in the lead-up to International Women’s Day next Thursday.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Ms Julie Collins, said the Australian Government has sent a distinguished delegation to the Commission, where it is also hosting three events focusing on the needs of rural women and rural women with disabilities.

“The commission is the leading international event addressing gender inequality and comes at a time when the Australian Government has introduced legislation to improve gender equality in the workplace,” Ms Collins said.

“This event gives Australia the opportunity to highlight our successes in promoting equality between women and men – as well as to consider what more needs to be done to create a more equal society.”

The Australian delegation is headed by the Office for Women and includes Ms Penny Williams, Global Ambassador for Women and Girls, and Ms Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner. Ms Williams has delivered Australia’s Country Statement to the Commission this morning, Australian time. The delegation also includes three representatives from the community sector sponsored by the Australian Government. They are:

  • Ms Kaylene Rawlings Hunter, a trainee lawyer and Acting President of Tarwirri, the Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association of Victoria
  • Ms Rosemary Norman-Hill, Director of Kirrawe Indigenous Corporation
  • Ms Darriea Turley, National President of the Australia Local Government Women’s Association and President of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and Network.

The theme for this year’s Commission is ‘the empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges’.

“These representatives bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in issues affecting rural women,” Ms Collins said.

Australia is hosting and co-hosting three side events in the first week of CSW on:

  • Impact of domestic violence against rural women
  • Pathways from education to work for rural women
  • Rural women with disabilities, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the non-government organisation, Women with Disabilities Australia

Australia’s country statement to the 56th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women is available here