The most recent report of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade was presented in the House this week.
The Committee has conducted a review of the human rights of women and girls in the Pacific, and made 14 recommendations. A key theme of the inquiry was that the underlying issues are interconnected and touch on all areas of society. Work to progress gender equality issues cannot be relegated to a small number of targeted areas.
‘The Committee acknowledges the considerable efforts of national governments in the Pacific nations. Our recommendations seek to build on the strength of their efforts and to propose means whereby Australia can further assist local efforts,’ Hon Kevin Andrews MP, Chair of the Human Rights Sub-committee, said.
Another clear theme of the inquiry was support for local leadership, design and delivery of programs. Local faith-based groups, local NGOs, and local leaders are best placed to build and establish the institutions and infrastructure that lead to ongoing and sustained change.
‘Women and girls are continuing to shape their societies for the better,’ Mr Andrews said. ‘We trust that our recommendations will encourage their continuing commitment to supporting peaceful, resilient and happy communities throughout the Pacific.’