The text of the following statement was released by the governments of the United States of America and Australia on the occasion of the inaugural Australia-U.S. Strategic Dialogue on Gender Equality.
At the inaugural Australia-U.S. Strategic Dialogue on Gender Equality (12-13 June 2023), Australia and the United States discussed longstanding and emergent challenges and opportunities for achieving gender equality and the human rights of all women and girls, in all their diversity.
The increase in gender inequalities since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and attacks on women’s and girls’ human rights were among the focus of discussion, underscoring the need for accelerated action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Both countries committed to strengthened collaboration in countering the global pushback, particularly in multilateral fora.
Australia and the United States also discussed the need for full implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The discussion included the relevance of WPS to youth, climate, cyber, and space security, and working with government and civil society partners in Asia and the Pacific. Good practices were shared, including efforts through women peacebuilder and mediator networks, WPS centers of excellence and global WPS information sharing platforms, as well as efforts to protect and promote women’s leadership and political participation. Both countries discussed development and implementation of their respective WPS National Action Plans, including in relation to climate change and disaster relief, recovery and resilience.
Australia and the United States reflected on their support for achieving gender equity and equality in international trade and economic development. The Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation and World Trade Organization, along with the United States Agency for International Development’s Women in the Digital Economy Fund and investments in women’s economic leadership in the blue and green
economies with linkage to the climate and technology transitions, were identified as opportunities and fora in which to advance gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Australia and the United States affirmed their commitment and prioritization to scale gender-responsive climate solutions and address the gender-climate nexus broadly. Both governments shared their priorities related to this nexus, including strengthening women’s roles in climate decision-making and in implementation of climate adaptation and disaster resilience building efforts, enabling participation of women-led groups and civil society in national and international climate fora, such as the annual UN Climate Change Conference, scaling gender-inclusive and equitable climate finance solutions, addressing gender-based violence related to climate change, and strengthening women’s economic security in the green and blue economies.
Ending all forms of gender-based violence, ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and strengthening the collection, reporting and use of gender data and statistics were also discussed during the Dialogue. The United States expressed interest in the Equality Insights initiative, Australia confirmed support for the Global Equality Fund, and both reaffirmed the need for SRHR to be addressed in development assistance.
Australia and the United States will continue to take a leadership role in the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse. This includes constructive and action-oriented dialogue with civil society and the private sector, including technology companies, promoting safety-by-design, encouraging interoperable solutions to address online harassment, abuse, and disinformation, and strengthening transparency and accountability.