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Natasha Stott Despoja’s tireless work for women and girls continues with UN appointment

November 10, 2020 / Our Watch media team

In this article

Our Watch Chair Natasha Stott Despoja’s life-long work towards gender equality has been recognised with her appointment to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), just announced in New York.

The Committee, a body of 23 independent experts, monitors the progress of UN member states’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women.

Our Watch CEO Patty Kinnersly said the appointment was richly deserved.

“Natasha’s unflagging commitment to improving the life of women and girls here and overseas is always inspiring and galvanising to all of us who work towards a future free from violence against women,” Ms Kinnersly said.

“I am privileged to see first-hand both her passion and her deep expertise in her role as Chair of Our Watch, and I have no doubt she will continue to be a powerful advocate for the rights of women and girls around the world as part of the work of this committee.”

After an open and merit-based process, Natasha was selected in March to be Australia’s candidate for CEDAW by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne.

Candidates are nominated by their government, but when selected, serve as individual experts.

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is instrumental in implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the founding Chair of Our Watch, a national leader in the prevention of violence against women and their children.

She is a former senator and leader of the Australian Democrats, and at 26 years old was the youngest woman ever to enter the Australian Federal Parliament.

From 2013-2016, Natasha was Australia’s Ambassador for Women and Girls, responsible for the promotion of women’s economic empowerment and leadership and the reduction of violence against women and girls.

She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 and was named among the world’s 100 most influential people in gender equality in 2018. She also is a Director of Global Citizen.

Her other board commitments Carrie’s Beanies for Brain Cancer, The Australian Ballet and the Australian National University Council.

About Our Watch

Our Watch is a national leader in Australia’s work to stop violence against women and their children before it starts. The organisation was created to drive nation-wide change in the practices, norms and structures that lead to violence against women and children.

Media Contact

Laurelle Keough, Media and Communications Manager, Our Watch: 0448 844 930 / 0425 701 801 or laurelle.keough@ourwatch.org.au

*If you cover this story, or any story regarding violence against women and children, please include the following tagline:

“If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000”

To access guides for reporting about violence against women and their children, visit Media Making Change.

Find out more about our work to end violence against women in Australia.

The evidence
Woman holding baby.