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National Policies and International Commitments on Gender Equality

Australia is committed to international treaties to advance gender equality such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1983, which outlines the rights that women should have across many aspects of life including political participation, health, education, employment, housing, marriage, family relations and laws.

Upon signing the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Australia introduced the Sex Discrimination Act 1984, federal legislation that prohibits sex discrimination. Under the Act, people are protected from discrimination and unfair treatment due to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, relationship status, pregnancy or breastfeeding. The Human Rights Commission is tasked with monitoring the act.

The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 was developed to bring a significant and sustained reduction in violence against women and their children through a whole-of-community effort. It included funding to develop a range of prevention measures to stop domestic and family violence and sexual assault and to continue to change the attitudes and beliefs that can lead to violence. It also comprised targeted prevention initiatives to reach Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and persons with disabilities (Australian Government, 2019).

The Realising the benefits for all: Gender Equality Strategy 2021–26 presents a pathway to realise gender equality in the Australian Public Service (APS) with a vision for respectful, safe and inclusive workplaces that enable all genders to fully participate and flourish. The Strategy builds on the outgoing strategy, Balancing the Future: APS Gender Equality Strategy 2016–19.

Last updated January 2023

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National Reviews for the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action

National Women's Machinery