Australia used International Women’s Day on 8 March to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action where 189 countries committed to removing obstacles to gender equality and the empowerment of women. Through its aid program, Australia is partnering with African countries to remove barriers to women’s development. The Australia Awards program, for example, encourages female applicants by providing additional support to them once they receive an award. In addition, the Australia Awards African Women in Leadership Network continues to grow and now has over 200 members in 39 countries.
The United Nations is also encouraging organisations to honour women this month by showing images of women who are making an impact in their communities, countries and the world at large through the theme Empowering women – empowering humanity: Picture it! Australia Awards profiles several outstanding women awardees in a series of images here.