Image: Natasha Stott Despoja Instagram.

Natasha Stott Despoja re-elected to UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

Natasha Stott Despoja has been re-elected to the UN Committee on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women for a second term.

Gender equality advocate and diplomat Natasha Stott Despoja AO has been re-elected to the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

The committee is made up of 23 independent human right experts from around the world that monitor the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). CEDAW was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly, is often described as an international bill of rights for women.

In a statement commending Stott Despoja's appointment, Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong said: "Ms Stott Despoja’s leadership is pivotal to eliminating discrimination against women and girls globally, in our region and at home."

“Through her understanding of international law and treaties, Ms Stott Despoja will be a strong force in the fight to protect and promote women and girl’s human rights. She will be an important voice, as the only expert on the committee from the Pacific region," she said.

Minister for Women Katy Gallagher also celebrated Stott Despoja's appointment, stating: "Ms Stott Despoja’s re-election to the committee will enable her to continue work to improve the lives of women around the world, and bring back insights and lessons for us to use as we work towards gender equality at home in Australia. In her second term on the committee, she will be an influential global leader for gender equality and advocate for women and girls’ human rights everywhere.”

Stott Despoja will serve on the committee in her personal capacity, commencing on 1 January 2025. This will be her second term on the committee.

Stott Despoja was appointed to the Australian Senate in 1995 at 26 years old - making her the youngest woman to serve in federal Parliament. She was later deputy leader of the Democrats in 1997 and federal leader from 2001 to 2002. After retiring from politics, Stott Despoja was as the founding chair of Our Watch and the national Ambassador for Women and Girls from 2013 and 2016. She has also served in several roles in the United Nations.