Australia will be at the forefront of global efforts to promote the role of women and girls with the creation of an Ambassador to advocate on their behalf. Career diplomat Penny Williams will be Australia’s first Global Ambassador for Women and Girls. In the role, Ms Williams will ensure the needs of women and girls are properly represented in Australia’s overseas development program and in foreign policy more broadly.
Women and girls make up two thirds of the one billion people in the world who lack basic literacy skills, with almost 35 million girls world-wide not getting even basic primary-level education. By improving access to education and health services for women and girls, we are able to lift families and communities out of poverty. Evidence shows that aid spending is more effective when women are central to our investment. The Ambassador’s priorities include co-ordinating and promoting Australia’s work to eradicate violence against women, improving access to services for women, the protection of women and girls in conflict zones and increasing the representation of women in leadership roles.