Australian envoy for women and girls visits India
The ambasaddor attended an event organised by the Asha Society at Amebdkar Basti here last evening to mark the ocassion of the International Day of the Girl Child.
New Delhi: The Australian ambassador for women and girls Natasha Stott Despoja is on an India visit, to promote the cause of Australia's international engagement with gender equality and their support to the empowerment of women.
"Despite progress over the past few decades girls around the world face several challenges as they seek to have their voices heard and to secure an equal place in the society. This is why Australia is working actively in our region and beyond to help young women access education, vocational training and mentoring," said Stott Despoja.
Despoja, who was elected to the Australian Parliament at the age of 26, donated a sum of Rs 10 lakh to the Asha Society a non governmental organisation which works for the empowerment of women. The support is part of the Australian High Commission's Direct Aid Program (DAP).
The ambasaddor attended an event organised by the Asha Society at Amebdkar Basti here last evening to mark the ocassion of the International Day of the Girl Child. "My role as ambassador is to promote gender equality and gender equity internationally. I have a particular focus on the Asia pacific region. Human development prosperity is investing in the education of women and girls so that's our mandate focused on the Asia-pacific region but Indian ocean rim very important part of what we do," Despoja said.
"I am here to support projects like that of Asha foundation particularly with the emphasis on investing in women and girls education, higher education, financial literacy and of course business readiness and training," she said.
The ambassador, is also set to visit Mumbai to donate a similar amount to an NGO that offers vocational training to women and also help women affected by trafficking. Shedding light on the fact that the Australian Government is very keen to uplift women in the South Asian Region she said around 50 to 60 per cent of over 5 billion dollars in the 2014-2015 foreign aid budget of Australia would be going to support women and girl child development programs.
The Australian foreign aid, administered by the foreign ministry led by Julie Bishop, focuses on economic and political empowerment of girls and women and on elimination of violence against women and girls.
"The exciting thing is that our minister (Julie Bishop) has made gender equality as a part of our foreign policy has mandated that atleast 80 percent of our aid and development work must support gender equality. "So, now it is mainstreamed through our aid and development work the Australian government is strongly supporting financially the area of gender equality," Despoja said. Despoja, also heads the Foundation to Prevent Violence against Women and Their Children in Australia.
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