History was made today as Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Health, Senator Malarndirri McCarthy, became the first Indigenous Australian woman to deliver Australia’s National Statement to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York.
“As a Yanyuwa Garrawa woman from Gulf Country in the Northern Territory, I’m incredibly proud and humbled to represent all Australian women and girls with this distinguished delegation on the world stage,” said Senator McCarthy.
The Commission for the Status of Women is the premier institution for advancing women’s rights around the world. And it was an Australian woman– prominent Labor activist Jessie Street– who was instrumental in establishing it as a standalone commission of the United Nations in 1946.
In delivering Australia’s National Statement, Senator McCarthy said the Australian Government is working to ensure “gender equality is a core economic imperative”.
The statement underscored the need to ensure inclusion in technology and innovation and closing the digital divide, especially for First Nations women, women living in rural and remote areas and those impacted by natural disasters.
This was in line with the forum’s theme: Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
Examples given of Labor’s efforts to close the digital divide include investing $31.6 million over five years to address technology-facilitated abuse and to improve online safety.
Investing in 1000 digital traineeships in the Australian Service was mentioned as well. These are specifically targeting underrepresented groups in the sector, including women and First Nations people.
Senator McCarthy also told the UN that the Albanese Government will deliver on an election promise and introduce a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality.
She emphasised that Australia is “serious about achieving gender equality” and “committed to working with partners across our region and the globe to achieve long-lasting change”.
“We know that good outcomes for women are good for the nation and that’s why we are energised and ready to take on the hard work needed to achieve the change necessary for women and girls.”