UNCLAS VIENNA 000048
DEPARTMENT FOR EUR/PGI (KUYKENDALL)
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PHUM XG AU
SUBJECT: EMBASSY VIENNA ENGAGEMENT ON WOMEN'S ISSUES
REF: 09 STATE 124579
Â¶1. The following is Embassy Vienna's response to reftel request for
information on engagement on women's issues.
Â¶2. The Embassy engages on a diverse range of women's issues in
Austria, including trafficking in persons, the empowerment of Muslim
women, and women's access to the labor market. Success stories
include the International Visitors' Program, which has sent numerous
women leaders identified by the embassy to the U.S., as well as a
conference on trafficking and another for women business leaders.
The Embassy also engages GOA leaders on matters of common interest
regarding women's issues.
Â¶3. The Embassy works with GOA officials to combat trafficking in
persons in Austria, which is both a transit and destination country.
In drafting the trafficking in persons report for Austria, Post
works with GOA officials across ministries as well as Austria's Task
Force on Trafficking. In January, the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security will co-host with the Austrian Ministry of Interior a
workshop to promote greater cooperation in Southeast Europe against
trafficking. In spring 2008 the Embassy hosted a program
highlighting trafficking issues in Austria, and in 2009 the Embassy
sent an NGO leader active on trafficking issues facing African women
in Austria on a young leaders IV program. The Embassy also has
contact with the anti-trafficking agency UN.GIFT, and the Vienna
branch of the International Organization for Migration.
Â¶4. Another priority for the Embassy is the empowerment of Muslim
women. In 2007 the Embassy sponsored a conference with the group
Women Without Borders, uniting women of different faiths. In 2009
the Embassy held an event with the women's organization Fatima
attended by Economics Ministry State Secretary Christine Marek.
Fatima is dedicated to helping young women enter the labor market.
In February, the Embassy will arrange a speaking engagement by the
only female publisher in Yemen.
Â¶5. The Embassy engages with Austrian officials on global issues of
common interest. Austria, as a non-permanent member of the UN
Security Council, supported a September 2009 U.S. resolution to
protect women in conflict zones. The Embassy also assisted the
Minister for Women's Affairs in planning for her visit to the March
UN conference commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Beijing
Â¶6. The Embassy is looking for new ways to be involved in women's
issues, through engagement with government officials and interaction
with the public through the use of programs or new media. The
Embassy is planning a DVC for its annual commemoration of
International Women's Day to include a representative from the State
Department Office of Global Women's Issues. The Embassy hosted a
roundtable with the Austrian Labor Chamber on women's issues in 2007
and may hold similar events with other women leaders in the future.