Close Search
News  |  Careers

Govt Appoints Global Ambassador for Women and Girls

13 September 2011 at 3:52 pm
Staff Reporter
The Gillard Government has continued to increase its focus on foreign aid and development with the announcement of Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.

Staff Reporter | 13 September 2011 at 3:52 pm


Govt Appoints Global Ambassador for Women and Girls
13 September 2011 at 3:52 pm

The Gillard Government says it has continued to increase its focus on foreign aid and development with the announcement of Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls.

Career diplomat Penny Williams has been announced as Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls by the Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis Parliament House.

William’s new role will be to ensure the needs of women and girls are properly represented in Australia's overseas development program and in foreign policy more broadly.

Australia’s aid and development sector has applauded the move, saying they are ready to provide Williams with the support she needs.

Kate Ellis says the appointment shows the Government recognises that being born a girl in the world is still very different to being born a boy – girls will earn less, learn less, be less healthy and at greater risk of violence.

Ellis says the new role will help the Government build partnerships with other nations and advocate for the rights of women and girls – particularly in the Pacific region where 60% of women who are victims of domestic or family violence.

The Government says there are only a handful of similar positions in the world and Australia is the first place to place a particular focus on the experience of girls.

President of the Australian Council for International Development – the peak body for non-government aid organisations – Dr Meredith Burgmann says the women of the Pacific region are amongst the most discriminated against in the world.

Dr Burgman says women in the Pacific suffer shockingly high domestic violence and maternal death rates, do most of the work for a fraction of the male wage and have virtually no representation in public office.

She says when Australians talk about the Pacific, they often focus on the natural beauty of their region and not the endemic poverty and inequality which characterises so many of their neighbouring countries.

According to Dr Burgmann, just under 3 percent of all elected leaders in the Pacific are women – the lowest percentage in the world. Five of the 9 countries in the world that have no female representation at all levels of parliaments are in the Pacific.

Dimity Fifer, CEO of Australian Volunteers International says the Global Ambassador for Women and Girls will highlight the truth that when women are included in decision-making processes whole communities – and whole countries – benefit.

Julia Newton-Howes, CEO of CARE Australia, says research and analysis undertaken by CARE Australia has shown that if one woman is helped out of poverty, she will bring four others with her.

World Vision’s Head of International Programs Kerin Ord says the new role will ensure Australia has a coordinated, consistent and holistic approach to the human rights of women and it will make sure Australia’s voice is heard on the international stage.

Ord said World Vision welcomed the news the Ambassador’s portfolio would include a focus on violence against women.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at or download our contributor guidelines.



Get more stories like this


One comment

  • Please advise what you will do for the thousands of Forgotten Australians who remain Forgotten (not even known in the first place) by everyone they come into contact with? Doctors, social workers, are all the same. Try asking the next health or welfare professional you meet if they have heard of Forgotten Australians? And there are 450,000 non-indigenous Forgotten Australian families!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Creating a community for all parents

Maggie Coggan

Monday, 24th January 2022 at 5:14 pm

2022 workplace predictions

Maggie Coggan

Thursday, 20th January 2022 at 4:01 pm

A year ahead for government engagement

Neil Pharaoh

Wednesday, 19th January 2022 at 4:26 pm

Calls for civil society COVID Rapid Response Group

Luke Michael

Thursday, 13th January 2022 at 4:05 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook