Media Release by The Hon Kate Ellis MP

Australia represented at UN Commission on the Status of Women

Three extraordinary women have been chosen to represent the Australian community at this year’s United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Elaine Butler and Christina Ryan have been selected by the Australian Government as community sector delegates, and Jahna Cedar as an Indigenous delegate at the international women’s forum, which is the global body for the promotion of equality between men and women.

The Minister for the Status of Women, Kate Ellis, today congratulated the delegates on their appointment and said that Australians should be proud to be represented by such remarkable women at this important gathering.

“The UN Commission on the Status of Women is a vital forum for the advancement of women worldwide, as it reports on gender equality, sets global standards, and makes recommendations to the UN and the international community for action where countries fail to meet these standards,” Ms Ellis said.

“I am delighted that Ms Butler, Ms Ryan and Ms Cedar have been selected from such a strong field of community applicants, and I am confident they will be excellent representatives for Australia.”

Ms Butler has been a member of Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE), a group that provides advocacy on behalf of women to decision makers in educational institutions.

“Ms Butler’s work as an educator, researcher and advocate will allow her to make an excellent contribution to the Commission’s theme this year; Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work,” Ms Ellis said.

Ms Ryan is the general manager of Advocacy for Inclusion, a community organisation which advocates for the rights of people with disability in the ACT region, as well as a member of Women with Disabilities Australia.

And acknowledging the high calibre of applications from Indigenous women, the Australian Government’s Indigenous Leadership Program chose to support Ms Cedar’s participation as an Advanced Leadership Opportunity.

Ms Cedar is a 26-year-old Indigenous woman and mother of two who lives in South Hedland, Western Australia, where she runs a consultancy business that provides human resources advice and training.

“Ms Ryan and Ms Cedar bring with them personal knowledge of the barriers women can face in the community, and have already done much work to support women with disability and Indigenous women and girls,” Ms Ellis said.

“All three women selected for the Australian delegation have made a significant contribution to their community and to the welfare of women, in very different ways.

“It is important that Australia has strong and diverse representation at the Commission so we can continue to advance the status of women – and I am proud that we are sending such a talented community delegation.”

This year’s session, the Commission’s 55th meeting, will take place from February 22 to March 4.