On the twentieth anniversary of the Sex Discrimination Act (SDA), Elizabeth Evatt stated that Australia was ‘falling short on women’s rights’. Earlier in her UN role, she had said: ‘Ultimately we have to be judged not by our highest ambitions and achievements, but by our ability to raise from the lowest level those whose needs…are greatest. That is the way I would like Australia, and every other country, to be judged in the United Nations.’ This chapter reviews progress in Australia in the past five years according to Evatt’s criteria, and celebrates the role of Australians in creating multilevel strategies to ‘raise up’ Australian women by improving their lives and realise their rights. The issues are analysed through a biographical lens. I examine the crucial role of Evatt, Andrew Byrnes, Jane Connors and Helen L’Orange (in the development of the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence Against Women). The argument is that domestic reform and engagement with the UN system can be a mutually enriching experience, although the Australian women’s movement has not always been effective in joining together international and domestic expertise and debates.
|Title of host publication||Sex Discrimination in Uncertain Times|
|Place of Publication||Canberra Australia|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|