I’m back in San Francisco after a trip to New York in a week where a lot has happened in politics, everywhere in the world.
I was on the plane headed back to San Francisco when I received the first tweets about the Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, being deposed by the former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd. It’s one of those times you don’t want to be surrounded by a plane full of strangers; instead you want to talk about what’s happened.… Continue Reading
I’m currently back in Australia, having a few precious days at my cottage in Piccadilly and time with my family and friends.
An informed and active citizen movement in Australia is what has moved the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) from being a great idea to an almost certain reality. There’s been a groundswell of support for this insurance for a long time now, with many Australians agitating for action to make it happen. The promise of a Federal election in the next few months was the Australian community’s ace card to get it across the line. Every politician, parliamentarian and future Prime Minister wants the popular vote and this legislation will win favor with many Australians.… Continue Reading
California Institute of Integral Studies Speech: April 25, 2013
Fierce Courage: Muslim Women’s Transformative Activism – Jane Sloane
The changing political landscape over the last year, fueled by an active citizenry, has shown us why the fierce courage of Muslim women is important for them, their countries and for ourselves. The focus of this activism — in opening up options for peacemaking and peace-building, in pursuing the creation of democratic societies that are inclusive — diverse in voice and choice and in embracing a moderate form of Islam – is to secure a global transformation of power as much as a regional or country specific transformation.… Continue Reading
I was in New York to attend the 57th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. The priority theme this year was Prevention and Elimination of Violence to Women and Girls (VAWG). This was in response to the fact that almost 70 per cent of the world’s women have suffered some form of violence.
Representatives of Governments came to report on their progress to advance the rights of women and girls and to report on their implementation of the commitments they’d made under the Beijing Platform For Action (PFA) and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).… Continue Reading
As an Australian woman living in the United States, and working with women globally to advance their human rights, it was a momentous week. In the US, President Obama signed a memorandum designed to accelerate, extend and strengthen government actions across multiple sectors to better promote gender equality and empower women and girls.
The President signed this memorandum into law in the presence of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. In doing so, he said
“promoting gender equality and advancing the status of all women and girls around the world remains one of the greatest unmet challenges of our time, and one that is vital to achieving our overall foreign policy objectives.”
This Presidential directive includes the following:
Establishment of an interagency working group on international gender issues chaired by the National Security Advisor
Designation of an Ambassador-at-Large reporting directly to the Secretary to head the office of Global Women’s Issues
Formal recognition of the importance of women’s voices and actions to development
Commitment to a Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment at the U.S.