Australian Government’s priorities for CSW62

Office for WomenInternational ForumsThe UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)
Thursday, 15 February 2018
Publication author(s):
Office for Women


Priority 1: Improving the social and economic conditions for women and girls living and working in rural, regional and remote settings, particularly those who experience multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination and disadvantage

Core Messages

  • The barriers to economic participation are not the same for all women and girls. Women and girls from rural, regional and remote settings often face greater social and economic marginalisation, which can be caused by intersecting and compounding forms of discrimination and disadvantage.
  • Governments, business and communities must improve women’s economic empowerment, acknowledging the strength of different lived experiences and the diversity of women and girls.
  • Safe access to technology is crucial for women and girls so they can stay connected to their family and friends, engage with the world, take advantage of education and economic opportunities, and access information and support.
  • The Australian Government is committed to supporting women and girls living and working in rural, regional and remote settings, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, refugee and migrant women, women with disability and older women, through a range of initiatives to improve education, health and welfare, participation and safety outcomes.

Priority 2: Supporting the participation of civil society and independent national human rights institutions (NHRI) at CSW

Core Messages​

  • Australia’s election to the Human Rights Council is a measure of our longstanding commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, both in Australia and around the world – it reflects our liberal democratic values and our identity as an inclusive, diverse and tolerant society, built on migration.
  • All governments and communities should support the formal recognition of A-status independent NHRIs in promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality at the national, regional and international levels. In particular, to support the independent participation rights of NHRIs at CSW analogous to the arrangements that exist at the UN Human Rights Council.

Priority 3: Demonstrating Australia’s commitment, policy leadership and progress toward gender equality, through workforce participation and women’s economic empowerment throughout their lifetime

Core Messages

  • The Australian Government is committed to embedding change by mainstreaming gender policy.
  • The major building blocks are already in place to promote women’s economic empowerment: Australian women have one of the highest tertiary enrolment rates across the OECD; access to childcare and paid parental leave; and a strong legal and industrial system that supports worker protections and workplace flexibility.
  • Enabling increased participation of women in the economy and ensuring women’s economic security over their lifetime recognises the social and economic impact of unpaid care, taking time out from work to have children and the impact on future retirement savings, the criticality of affordable access to quality child-care in the early years, and access to decent work and integration into the labour force.
  • Access to sexual and reproductive health services, particularly family planning, especially for women in rural, regional and remote areas, is critical and needs to continue to inform our strategies in support of women’s economic empowerment.

Priority 4: Recognising that violence against women and girls is a barrier to their participation in their communities and economies

Core Messages​

  • Violence against women and girls is not only a violation of their human rights but is also a barrier to their full participation in their communities and economies.
  • Eliminating violence against women and girls requires co-ordinated multisectoral approaches combined with attitudinal changes within every community, place of work and political system, with women and girls’ safety as a priority.
  • Australia acknowledges that violence disproportionately affects particular cohorts of women, including Indigenous women, migrant and refugee women and women with disability.

Priority 5: Promoting Australia’s commitment to global gender equality and empowerment of women – including 2030 Agenda

Core Messages​

  • The advancement of women is not a privilege, but is essential to the realisation of human rights and an indispensable part of sustainable development.
  • The 2030 Agenda is a comprehensive, ambitious, international agenda that mainstreams gender equality. It acknowledges that no country has achieved equality. It demands progress on the many areas where we have failed to meet our previous commitments.
  • Collectively, we all know the importance of equality. We have the frameworks in place to guide us. The 2030 Agenda provides an opportunity to reinvigorate global momentum to realising gender equality and women’s empowerment. Our cooperation across the Agenda must be resolute. Our national approaches must be innovative and agile.
  • Monitoring the implementation and impact of the commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals is critical; current global gender data gaps will undermine these efforts.

Priority 6: Reaffirming Australia’s bid to serve as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women for the 2019-2023 term

Core Messages​

  • Australia’s candidacy to serve as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women for the 2019-2023 term is a testament to Australia’s commitment to the full and equal realisation of women and girls’ human rights, to securing substantive gender equality and the empowerment of diverse women socially, politically and economically.
  • Australia confirms it is committed to improving the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples around the world. Australia supports the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. We continue to engage in discussions to support the Human Rights Council’s consideration of the most effective approach to monitor, evaluate and improve the achievement of the ends of the Declaration.

Back to Resource Centre