National Council of Women of New Zealand President and Gender Equal NZ spokesperson, Vanisa Dhiru, has a simple message for all New Zealanders this International Women’s Day: “let’s press for progress”.
“The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report shows gender equality could be over 200 years away,” says Vanisa. “This is absolutely unacceptable and it’s worse for some groups of women than others, because of racism, transphobia and other forms of oppression”.
“We’re starting to see some international movement towards gender equality with campaigns such as #metoo and ‘Times Up’. It’s time now to bring this urgent dialogue to New Zealand – and we saw a step in the right direction with the launch of #metoonz last week.”
Recent revelations of sexual harassment in the legal profession give us all a strong example of how gender inequality manifests in action. This International Women’s Day is an ideal time to take stock, and build on the momentum for change.
“Kristine Bartlett being named the 2018 New Zealander of the Year, for her work on the pay equity campaign for low paid care workers, is hugely inspirational and it gives me hope that it might not take the 200 years to reach gender equality that has been predicted.”
This year is the 125th anniversary of New Zealand women’s suffrage and the 70th anniversary of the UN declaration of human rights, so come December 31st it would be wonderful to look back on a year of substantial progress.
“The National Council of Women is proud of it’s internal progress towards better addressing gender inequality in New Zealand” says Vanisa, “with the launch of Gender Equal NZ in late 2017 and the appointment of Dr Gill Greer as CEO and Lisa Lawrence of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Ruapani as Vice President”.