Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


Human Rights Council – 26th Session

Annual Discussion on Women’s Rights:
Women, human rights and the sustainable development agenda

Australian Statement
17 June 2014

Australia is committed to empowering women to fully participate in economic, social and political life. Women’s participation is a key factor in reducing poverty, enhancing economic growth and democratic governance, and increasing the well-being of women, girls and their families.

The standalone goal on gender equality in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) played a key role in increasing international support for gender equality and women’s empowerment. It highlighted that achieving equality between men and women is crucial to reducing poverty. Annual reporting on MDGs, including MDG3 on gender equality, has helped in demonstrating areas and regions where progress is being made and where greater efforts are needed.

Australia views gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls as a priority in the post-2015 development agenda. We welcome the consensus building around gender equality as a standalone goal and mainstreamed across other goals, and the support shown at the 58th session of the Commission for the Status of Women for a ‘twin-track’ approach to gender equality.

To obtain gender equality, we need a comprehensive approach which focuses attention on: ending violence against women (as a zero target), supporting the economic empowerment of women, and increasing women’s leadership and participation.

Gender equality should also be integrated across other areas in the form of targets, indicators and disaggregated data, particularly relating to poverty, food security, health, education, economic growth, sustainable cities, and peaceful and inclusive societies.