Tuesday, 27 March 2018
International Development Assistance
At the request of Senators Moore and Di Natale, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) there are half a billion adolescent girls aged between 10 to 19 in the developing world today,
(ii) adolescent girls in the developing world are our next generation of women leaders, workers and mothers,
(iii) when we create the conditions for adolescent girls to fulfil their right to gender equality, to be healthy, educated, safe and economically empowered, they have the power to lift their families out of poverty and transform their nation's economies,
(iv) the United Nations Population Fund has recognised girls aged 10 as the key group whose potential, if unlocked, will create the economic and social conditions needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and
(v) in recognition of the potential of adolescent girls all around the world, Plan International Australia has, this week, launched the new report, Half A Billion Reasons: How Investing In Adolescent Girls Can Change the World, providing a global snapshot of the key challenges that girls face in the developing world and a road map for transforming their lives;
(b) further notes that the global community can transform the lives of adolescent girls by:
(i) protecting every adolescent girl's right to be free from gender-based violence and harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation,
(ii) promoting the health, well-being and rights of adolescent girls through access to sexual and reproductive health information and services,
(iii) fighting poverty by giving adolescent girls access to quality, inclusive and equitable secondary education,
(iv) growing a country's economic prosperity by economically empowering girls and young women,
(v) empowering and protecting adolescent girls during disasters and emergencies, and
(vi) creating the conditions for adolescent girls to be change agents and leaders;
(c) calls on all parliamentarians to support adolescent girls globally, committing to strengthen gender equality for adolescent girls around the world; and
(d) calls on the Australian Government to prioritise adolescent girls' human rights in Australia's foreign policy, overseas aid, development and trade.
Australia's aid policy, launched in June 2014, establishes gender equality and women's empowerment as a priority for Australian official development assistance. It requires that 80 per cent of Australia's aid initiatives, irrespective of focus, perform effectively in promoting gender equality. Launched in 2016, women and girls are covered by our existing Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Strategy, which reflects the need to address gender equality along the continuum of girls' and women's lives.
Question agreed to.