Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Switzerland, Liechtenstein


UN Human Rights Council – 21st Session

Annual Discussion on Integration of a Gender Perspective

Elements for consideration, 18 September 2012

Australia welcomes the opportunity to participate in this panel discussion on the integration of a gender perspective throughout the United Nations system, and is pleased to have been able to contribute to the increased accessibility of the discussions in the Human Rights Council.

Economic, social and cultural rights cut to the heart of human dignity, and must be upheld to achieve sustainable and inclusive development. Integrating a gender perspective across all areas of policy enables us to identify women and men’s different experiences in exercising these rights. It also better equips us to address the multiple disadvantages faced by many women and recognise their valuable contributions to our societies, including through both paid and unpaid work.

We congratulate the UN on the release of the landmark System-wide Action Plan on gender equality and women’s empowerment and would be interested to hear panellists’ expectations for this plan. What are the greatest challenges the UN faces to better integrate gender, and what can Members States do to assist in the delivery of this Plan? We would also be interested to hear panellists’ views on how to get gender back on the global and national agenda in an environment where more frequent and severe economic challenges are crowding out debates about gender equality.

Australia works hard to ensure a gender perspective is integrated into its international and domestic policy settings.

Domestically, one strategy that Australia has undertaken to better understand the realities for men and women and to address deep-seated gender inequalities was to develop a national set of gender indicators. The gender indicators support analysis and monitor outcomes for women and men in Australia, as well as inform government policy and assist decision makers working to achieve gender equality. We encourage the UN to continue to make use of gender indicators throughout its policy and programmatic work.