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Time to sign CEDAW as Australian women Reclaim the Night

Media Release
Sarah Hanson-Young 31 Oct 2008

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has today, on the 30th anniversary of the annual Reclaim the Night campaign in Australia, called on the Federal Government to sign a key international agreement to protect women’s rights.

Australia is yet to sign the Optional Protocol to the United Nations’ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (or CEDAW). The Optional Protocol would allow Australians to make complaints to the United Nations on matters of gender equality and women’s rights if all domestic efforts are fruitless.

“Reclaim the Night was established to highlight every woman’s basic human right to live in freedom from discrimination and fear of violence,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

“Yet more than two-thirds of women experience some form of physical or sexual violence in their lives.

“There should be no two ways about signing this Optional Protocol.

“I urge the Rudd Government to act on the positive indications it has already given on this, and fast-track any plans it may have to making Australia a signatory to CEDAW.

“Women’s rights are human rights and Australia should be leading the global community in recognising and protecting those rights.”

Media contact: Gemma Clark on 0427 604 760

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