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To celebrate International Women's Day, we sat down with the UN Women Australia team to learn more about their roles and what the annual event means to them.

Meet Simone, CEO of UN Women Australia.

Q: You joined UN Women Australia as CEO in 2021, what inspired you to take on the role?

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity (and challenge) of working for groundbreaking 'for purpose' organisations. Most of that work focuses on the rights of women and girls, fairness, equity and accelerating progress for those who need their voices heard. So when the opportunity to join UN Women Australia as CEO came up, it was an opportunity and a role I had spent my whole career working towards – and I love it.

Q: Is there a UN Women campaign that you are most proud of and why?

It’s hard to call out one campaign as we work on so many different issues, and everything that UN Women does globally and locally has value, so it’s difficult to pick just one.

Ending Violence Against Women is a global challenge and a personal passion of mine, so to be able to craft a campaign that goes to the heart of ensuring the safety and security of all women is still taking shape. With the involvement of our amazing team and creative partners, we hope to create a meaningful campaign later in 2023 to shift attitudes towards women with a specific focus on ending violence against women - so perhaps our 'best' is yet to come.

Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

UN International Women's Day is a moment to pause, recognise and celebrate all the incredible female changemakers, trailblazers and activists that have fought for generations to change the way in which women are treated. If women's fundamental rights are recognised then we have the ability and access to realise our full potential.

International Women's Day is an annual opportunity to recognise the incredible value women bring to every aspect of our lives - at work, at home, online, in leadership, and in times of crisis.

Although International Women's Day is a global moment to celebrate the gains, it's also an opportunity to explore where we are falling short.

Unfortunately, in many countries, women's rights are under threat. That's why we must continue to put equality at the heart of everything we do and draw attention whenever women are held back, discriminated, threatened against or excluded.