IWDA’s Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015 (June 2015).
On 12 May 2015 the Senate referred The International Aid (Promoting Gender Equality) Bill 2015 to the Foreign Affairs Defence and Trade Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. The purpose of the Bill is to direct Commonwealth aid officials to consider the impact of any official development or humanitarian assistance in reducing gender inequality. The Bill highlights the importance of promoting gender equality in international aid, referencing Sustainable Development Goal 5 – “achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade tabled its report on Thursday 17 September 2015.
The Bill has two substantive provisions. Clause 4 creates a duty for Commonwealth aid officials to have regard to how official development assistance will contribute to reducing gender inequality. Clause 5 requires the Minister for Foreign Affairs to present to each House of Parliament a report ‘setting out how, during the previous financial year, the Commonwealth used international aid to promote gender equality in recipient countries’.
IWDA’s submission to this Inquiry discusses how action on gender equality will continue to lag behind commitments unless there is clear leadership, process requirements, resourcing and accountability for performance on gender equality as a goal, in the same way as there is for prudent budget management.
IWDA’s submission to this Inquiry focuses on three key elements that make this legislation imperative:
- Providing a mechanism to ensure gender considerations are embedded in programming;
- Supporting the consistent implementation of existing policy commitments on gender; and,
- Building on an important international legislative precedent.