55th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women

The Minister for the Status of Women, the Hon Kate Ellis MP, led the Australian delegation to the 55th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 55) which took place from 22 February to 4 March 2011 in New York.

CSW is the highest international meeting on gender equality and women’s empowerment with representation from countries around the world. It meets annually in New York.

This year, the Commission considered:

  • Priority theme: 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.
  • Review theme: The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child (CSW 51).

Minister Ellis delivered Australia’s Country StatementLink to external website. In line with the CSW theme, the statement focused on education and training, and access to decent work. The statement also referred to Australia’s new National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.

The Australian delegation comprised representatives from the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency, the Office for Women, AusAID, the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

This year, the Government fully funded two community sector delegates and one Indigenous delegate to participate on the Australian delegation.

Australia participated actively in the negotiation of the agreed conclusionsLink to external website on the priority theme. These are recommendations to the international community to advance gender equality with respect to the priority theme.

In addition, the Commission adopted three resolutions on specific issues. Australia co-sponsored the resolutions on Mainstreaming gender equality and promoting empowerment of women in climate change policies and strategiesLink to external website and Women, the girl child and HIV and AIDSLink to external website.

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