Date: 
Monday 5 July 2010

Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Elizabeth Broderick, said today that the establishment of a single United Nations body to promote equality for women was momentous because it sent an international message that gender equality is and should be important to people and governments around the world.

Commissioner Broderick said UN Women will bring together the financial and human resources of four areas of the United Nations so that its impact on progressing gender equality would be increased.

“The establishment of UN Women is significant because it heralds an era where women and girls around the world will have a much stronger and more unified voice about the issues of inequality and discrimination that they face on a daily basis,” said Commissioner Broderick. “And these issues are often the very real issues of poverty, violence, inequality in work, discrimination on the basis of parenting responsibilities and low involvement in social decision-making processes.”

Commissioner Broderick said the issue of gender equality is an issue of human rights, something that is often forgotten in wider discussion on the subject.

“We forget that the gender equality issues that Australian women face, such as violence, poverty in retirement because of systemic failure to accrue life savings, inequality of pay and low levels of representation in the decision-making processes of our community, are in fact human rights breaches,” Commissioner Broderick said.

Commissioner Broderick said the establishment of UN Women was a positive development, and she looks forward to Australia’s ongoing involvement with it in working towards gender equality for women across the world.

Media contacts: Brinsley Marlay – 02 9284 9656 or 0430 366 529