Getting more women into the workforce is critical for achieving gender equality, an Australian senator says.
Liberal senator Michaelia Cash also believes economic empowerment and greater opportunities for women are entwined with a reduction in violence.
She hosted the World YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) breakfast in New York on Sunday, for International Women’s Day.
Senator Cash says young women are the drivers of gender equality, helping to end stereotypes and the undervaluing of women’s work.
‘Ensuring women are able to contribute through business and community organisations, including as leaders, is crucial to productivity and competitiveness,’ Senator Cash said in a statement.
Communities that respected gender equality were less likely to put up with violence against women, she said.
‘We all must take up the cause of creating a violence-free community where women and men are equally valued and celebrated,’ Senator Cash said.
She assists the prime minister on women’s issues.
Prime minister Tony Abbott’s cabinet includes two women, foreign minister Julie Bishop and health minister Sussan Ley.