Defence celebrates International Women’s Day 2015
6 March 2015
Defence will host a range of events in March as part of the United Nations Women Australia’s International Women’s Day 2015 celebrations.
Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin said the events would align with this year’s theme, Let’s not wait another 20 years for gender equality and the UN’s HeForShe campaign, which encourages men to identify and take steps to support women and gender equality.
“International Women’s Day is an opportunity for Defence to demonstrate support for women, both within its workforce and around the world,” ACM Binskin said.
“On an operational level, our military efforts have played a critical role in providing security, facilities and education for women in areas of conflict like those in Afghanistan.”
Although men still make up the majority of its workforce, in recent years Defence has improved access to flexible work arrangements within both the military and civilian workforce and removed gender restrictions in combat roles.
ADF combat role employment categories were opened to current serving ADF women in 2013 with direct recruitment to commence by 2016.
While acknowledging Defence still has some way to go to achieve the deep cultural reform it seeks, Defence leaders are confident these are being addressed through the continued implementation of Defence’s cultural reform strategy – Pathway to Change.
Defence Secretary Dennis Richardson said much had been achieved to improve gender equality in Defence during the past 20 years.
“We should be proud of our achievements, but we can’t afford to become complacent,” he said.
“Gender equality is not about ideology, numbers or political correctness—it is about enhancing our capability.
“As an organisation, we are taking steps to ensure that Defence better reflects the community it serves and that Defence can benefit from the talent of all Australians.
“This International Women’s Day, we are asking every member of Defence to support the UN Women HeForShe Campaign,” Mr Richardson said.
A video of Defence members and leaders calling on men to identify and take steps to support women and gender equality is available at http://video.defence.gov.au/?mediaId=a988cd60-429a-46fc-b2d5-947bc32c4924
Images of Defence events celebrating International Women’s Day 2015 will be available at http://images.defence.gov.au/S20150531
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999