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International Women's Day 2001 - CEDAW Information package

Commission Commission – General

8 March 2001

CEDAW PACK Image by Tina PalladinettiInternational
Women's Day 2001 - CEDAW Information package

Federal Sex Discrimination
Commissioner Susan Halliday today launched an information package to raise
awareness and to stimulate debate about women's human rights and the International
CEDAW Convention that defines and protects those rights.

The human rights
issues for Australian women in the 21st Century and the plight of women
from other countries is deserving of our attention. This package - Women
of the World: Know your international human rights and how to use them

- will be offered for use as a resource for schools, business, local government
and the general community.

"Australia is a great
place to live," says Commissioner Halliday. "Like every other nation in
the world, however, we still have issues of concern. Many of us consider
that human rights violations are matters for others, and representatives
in the United Nations who deal with violations in other countries."

"In reality, human
rights affect each of us in our daily lives, for example, rights relating
to fair and equal remuneration, discrimination and the elimination of
sexual harassment at work. We are indeed fortunate in Australia to enjoy
the level of protection of human rights that we do. However, there remain
areas where more work needs to be done to secure the realisation of our
rights as women."

"It is also important
to remember there are no fences around Australia - we are part of a global
community and women of the world."

The Convention on
the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) deals
with discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status, pregnancy and
maternity. It provides women with the right to participate equally with
men in public, civil, economic and social life. It obliges governments
to take specific and positive steps to secure and protect the rights of

Commissioner Halliday
says Australia has a proud tradition of working towards securing women's
rights domestically and internationally. At an international level, this
work dates back to the early years of federation and the establishment
of the League of Nations. In the middle of the 20th Century, Australian
women were instrumental in having recognition of women's rights included
in the United Nations Charter. In the 1970's, the contribution of Australian
women to the development of CEDAW was pivotal.

The launch will be
at the City of Greater Geelong Council Chambers, Gheringhap Street, Geelong,
from 2.00 - 3.00 pm.

Media contacts:
Janine MacDonald (02) 9284 9880 or 0412 783 631
Jane Thomas (City of Greater Geelong) (03) 5227 0811 or 0408 410 931

updated 2 December 2001.