Spotlight on a Cause – International Women’s Day 2013


The cause of women’s empowerment is one of my passions, and is imbued in the work I do day to day in development. So for the first Spotlight on a Cause post, I think it’s most fitting to feature a cause that I consistently support – UN Women Australia’s fundraising for International Women’s Day. I have worked directly on UN Women field projects in the Pacific, and seen the positive effects that many activities have directly had upon women’s empowerment in the region. I am also a long serving member of the Brisbane Young UN Women Committee, a wonderful group of women who volunteer their time to passionately advocate, raise awareness and fund raise for the broader UN Women cause.


This year, the International Women’s Day cause being supported is the Critical Services Initiative in Papua New Guinea. The issue of violence against women in PNG is harrowing, with rates of VAW at epic proportions. This initiative’s aim is to achieve universal access to critical services for all women and girls who have experienced gender-based violence. These services include:

  • emergency hotlines
  • immediate safety and protection
  • physical health care including emergency treatment, and emergency contraception and management of STIs and HIV-transmission
  • mental health care including crisis counselling
  • safe housing with access to basic necessities for women and their children
  • legal assistance
  • public education about where to access services

To find out more about how you can support this cause, please click here.

I feel so passionately about this issue, I wrote an opinion piece on violence against women in PNG, with my own personal reflections on it. The Punch have published it today, for those interested in reading it.

Article Print Screen

On March 8 every year, people are encouraged to don purple ribbons in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment. I’ll also be wearing mine proudly this year.

And although that little purple ribbon will once again find its way to the bottom of my desk drawer after Friday, it never truly comes off me.

Are you doing anything to support International Women’s Day this year? Let me know what you’re up to in the comments below.

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