Today, International Women's Day, marks the economic, social and political achievements of women.
The theme of this year's International Women's Day is ‘Empowering Women to End Poverty by 2015'.
Removing discrimination and actively supporting women's full participation in economic, social and political life is a key factor in reducing poverty and increasing the general wellbeing of women.
It is especially difficult to make progress in gender equality and the empowerment of women in conflict zones.
The international community has acknowledged that violence against women escalates during conflict and can increase in post-conflict situations.
Today Australia announces nearly $4 million to support women's roles in peace-building and to respond to violence against women in conflict situations.
Australia will provide:
- $2.8 million to the International Rescue Committee to strengthen support services for victims of gender-based violence in northern Iraq;
- $500,000 to the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and FEMLINK Pacific to support women's roles in peace-building. This funding will help increase women's involvement in peace negotiations through the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue's project, ‘Women at the Asian Peace Table'; and
- $500,000 to the UN's Gencap, which works across UN agencies to ensure gender issues are taken into account in emergency humanitarian responses.
This year also marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference for Women, and the commitment made by world leaders to advance women's rights through the Beijing Platform for Action.