The newly established role will provide leadership essential to gender equality and make empowerment of women and girls a central priority of Australia’s development program.
It will also enable Australia to play a greater leadership role by assisting in the elimination of discrimination against women and girls through initiatives that address education, health and poverty.
Ambassador Williams said she intends to work closely with the not-for-profit sector in seeking to transform gender inequality.
International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) warmly welcomes Ambassador Williams.
IWDA’s Acting Executive Director Anne Frankenberg said “Women make up half of the population but they lack the same rights and opportunities as men in every country, but particularly in developing contexts. This is something that the Australian Government must address and Ms Williams’ appointment is a valuable step.”
Acknowledging that the role is part-time, IWDA urges the Government to provide support to make it fully effective.
“We look forward to Ambassador Williams working closely with the Foreign Minister and the Minister for the Status of Women,” added Frankenberg.
“The record of all governments on gender equality is that commitment outstrips implementation, often by a wide margin. We trust this appointment signals the Gillard Government’s intention to close this gap, so that opportunities and rights will not depend on whether you are born male or female.”
IWDA’s Policy and Research Advisor Joanne Crawford welcomes the fact that that Ambassador Williams’ responsibilities extend beyond Australia’s aid program.
“Australia’s leadership will be maximised when all of the Government’s policies and approaches – including aid, foreign policy, security, economic development, environment and trade – work together to promote the interests of both men and women. This new position can assist in foregrounding these issues and supporting a coherent, whole-of-government approach to gender equality.”
Third Sector acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.