Jo Crawford: Australia needs to walk the talk on women’s issues

Women in Nepal learn about their rights. Australia needs to step up its efforts to push gender equality, according to Jo Crawford of the International Women's Development Agency. Photo by: Adrienne Henck / The Advocacy Project / CC BY-NC-SA

Is Australia doing enough to push for gender equality as part of its development program’s objectives? A women’s rights and development expert has weighed in.

Jo Crawford of the International Women’s Development Agency says that despite Australia’s commitment to promote gender equality and its subsequent policies on the issue, the country fails to allocate significant programming or spending to gender in its latest development budget.

“There is less than a page specifically focused on gender equality,” Crawford writes in an entry on the Development Policy Blog. “References to gender equality issues do appear throughout the document, including in describing country contexts and priorities. However, these are often so general that they add limited value.”

She argues that Australia needs to integrate gender more visibly and comprehensively in its upcoming review of aid effectiveness and in future budgeting process not only for aid but across the government.

“Done well, this would transform accountability and transparency on gender, not just in the aid budget but in all areas of government expenditure,” Crawford writes.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.