Australia takes up seat on UN Women Executive Board
04 May, 2012
UN Women is partnering with governments and market vendor organisations to provide facilities for women at markets and make markets a safer place for women. Photo: UN Women
Australia and Solomon Islands will take up seats on the UN Women Executive Board from January 2013. This will provide a unique opportunity to raise awareness of issues facing women in the Pacific, in particular the prevalence of violence against women.
UN Women is a global champion for women and girls. Established in 2011, the organisation operates in 75 developing countries around the world to improve the lives of women and girls and ensure their equal participation in all aspects of life.
The Executive Board oversees UN Women’s programs in developing countries and assists in coordinating work with other UN development agencies.
The work of UN women is focused on five priority areas:
- Increasing women’s leadership and participation
- Ending violence against women and girls
- Engaging women in all aspects of peace and security processes
- Enhancing women’s economic empowerment
- Making gender equality central to national development planning and budgeting
With help from AusAID and other international donors, in 2011 UN Women helped five countries to increase the number of women elected at local and national levels in five countries. In Morocco, for example, UN Women helped increase the number of women in parliament from 10 to 17 per cent.
UN Women’s work on reforms to create safe markets benefited more than 10,000 women in Papua New Guinea in 2011. Mostly women sell fresh food at the markets and it is often their family’s only cash income. Some of the women may spend three or four days at a time away from home selling their goods at the market, yet the markets often lack basic amenities such as toilets, shelter and cooking facilities. UN Women is partnering with governments and market vendor organisations to provide these facilities and make the markets a safer place for women.
Australia will also support UN Women's new Critical Services Initiative.
This initiative will help women and girls who have been subjected to violence to access critical services including emergency hotlines, police protection, shelter and housing, crisis counselling and health care.
Australia is providing $400,000 in 2011–12 to support the development of kits and other material to help countries implement the initiative.
This is part of a $96 million package over four years focused on combating violence against women in developing countries. This package was announced in 2011–12.
Foreign Minister’s media release (external website)
UN Women Executive Board (external website)
AusAID’s support for gender equality and women’s empowerment
Last Reviewed: 4 May, 2012