The Greens will today introduce into Parliament a Bill that includes gender equality assessments with our overseas aid by linking reporting requirements for all programs with their impact on women and girls in low income countries.
“Foreign Minister Julie Bishop claims that gender equality is one of the key tenets of her approach to aid, yet she has presided over the biggest cuts to the aid budget. Minister Bishop has cut $11.7 billion in just 18 months of being in office,” said Greens spokesperson for International Aid and Development Senator Lee Rhiannon.
“With both Labor and the Coalition using the aid budget at an ATM, we won’t improve outcomes for women and girls until we prioritise and fund them.
“The Greens Bill would require the Minister to report on how aid money is spent and specifically how the aid funded projects promote gender equality. The Bill makes the Minister accountable.
“A recent departmental report on Australian aid has shown that rather than increasing the amount of aid supporting gender equality, the satisfactory rating has fallen by five per cent in 2013-14.
“We know that this trend is likely to continue. Plan International has predicted that cuts to our aid budget could result in up to 220,000 girls being unable to access education.
“Our Bill is aimed at putting the direction of the aid budget back on track – and ensuring that what’s left of our aid budget will prioritise gender equality.
“There have been many photo opportunities with Ms Bishop highlighting the importance of equality. Now it’s time to take action.
“The Greens Bill would ensure that the Minister’s fine words on closing the gender gap become a reality for women and girls in low income countries.
“I look forward to working with Minister Bishop to pass this Bill.”