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         When it comes to the national agency contributing to the advancement of women in Australia, a brief history should be explained here.  In 1963, the Commonwealth Women’s Bureau was established in the department of Education.  The Women’s Action Committee was set up in 1970.  In 1974, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet founded Women’s Affairs Section which was upgraded to the Women’s Affairs Branch in 1975.  Women’s Affairs Branch later became the Office of Women’s Affairs and moved to the Department of Home Affairs in 1976.  In 1982, the Office of Women’s Affairs was renamed the Office of the Status of Women which was upgraded to a Division and returned to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.  The Office of the Status of Women is the current national machinery in charge of gender mainstreaming, ensuring women’s issues integrated into government policies and programmes.

        The status of women in Australia today can be understood from the following dimensions: family and community, education and training, workplace, health, preventing violence against women, justice, human rights and development, women in the lead, recognizing women’s achievements, women in technology/ the media/ arts and sports, disadvantaged women (indigenous women, older women, migrant and refugee women), women in regional, rural and remote areas.  Further details are available at http://www.osw.dpmc.gov.au/, and the web site, http://www.women.gov.au, provides a portal of government information related to women.
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