At the 2018 Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations in New York, Elizabeth Broderick AO was invited in her role as Special Rapporteur of the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women to address delegates. Broderick was appointed to the role by the UN Human Rights Council in 2017 in recognition of her expertise in the area of discrimination against women in law and practice. As Australia's longest serving Sex Discrimination Commissioner (2007-2015), and founder of the globally applauded ‘Male Champions of Change' initiative, Broderick’s commitment to promoting women has helped change Australia's national discourse around gender equality. Now on the global stage, she is helping shift international understanding and commitments.
Elizabeth Broderick’s address at the UN was a proud moment for Australia. She expressed deep concern in her speech that, while recent decades have seen important gains made for women’s rights, overall progress towards an equal and just society where women are free from discrimination has been painfully slow and uneven across the globe. Marginalized groups of women remain left behind while political conflict and natural disasters have created new populations of vulnerable women. The recent resurgence of racism, populism, religious fundamentalism and sexism pose complex challenges for women who continue to battle on many fronts for their dignity and survival.