Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO elected to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

  • Media release
10 November 2020

I congratulate Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO on her election to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Ms Stott Despoja is the first Australian to serve on the Committee in almost thirty years, following the membership of the Hon Elizabeth Evatt AC.

The Committee is a body of 23 independent experts, who monitor the progress of UN member states' efforts to eliminate discrimination against women. Ms Stott Despoja will serve as the only expert on the Committee from the Oceania region.

Ms Stott Despoja's candidacy was supported by the Australian Government following an open, merit-based selection process. It builds on Australia's global leadership in advancing women's rights and demonstrates Australia's commitment to eliminating discrimination against women and girls in Australia and globally.

Australia has a proud record of advocacy on gender equality with a focus on ending violence against women and girls, promoting women's economic empowerment, and enhancing women's leadership choices.

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

Ms Stott Despoja has a lifelong commitment to progressing gender equality and eliminating discrimination against women and girls as an Australian senator, as Australia's Ambassador for Women and Girls (2013-2016) and as the current Chair of Australia's world-leading organisation Our Watch, which focuses on the prevention of violence against women and their children.

Ms Stott Despoja has served as a member of the World Bank's Gender Advisory Council, the UN High Level Working Group on Health and Human Rights of Women, Children and Adolescents and has represented Australia at key international forums including at several sessions of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

As a member of the Committee, Ms Stott Despoja will serve in her personal capacity for a four-year term commencing on 1 January 2021.

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