Australia’s candidate for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)

  • Media release
05 March 2020

Countries have been invited to nominate candidates for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) by the UN Secretary General. There are 11 vacancies and candidates will be elected at the 21st meeting of States Parties to the Convention in New York in June 2020.

The Committee is a body of 23 independent experts, who monitor the progress of UN member states’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women. Election to CEDAW would build on Australia’s global leadership role on advancing women’s rights. We have a proud record of advocacy on gender equality and human rights for all women and girls.

Natasha Stott Despoja AO is Australia’s candidate. Ms Stott Despoja has worked to progress the rights of women and girls over many years, demonstrating a lifelong commitment to progressing gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women.

Ms Stott Despoja was previously Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013-16) and has in-depth knowledge of UN processes. Ms Stott Despoja also chairs Our Watch, a national organisation dedicated to ending violence against women and children.

I look forward to working with Ms Stott Despoja to support her campaign for election to CEDAW.

Our role as Vice-Chair of the Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women and our membership of the Human Rights Council, as well as our recent membership of the Executive Board of UN Women, underline our commitment to promoting and protecting women’s rights across the world.

The CEDAW elections will be finalised in June. For more information, visit:

Media enquiries

  • Minister's office: (02) 6277 7500
  • DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555