NCWNZ celebrates 120 years of working toward gender equality

The National Council of Women of New Zealand today celebrates 120 years of making a difference for women in New Zealand.

Gender equality has progressed significantly in New Zealand since NCWNZ was established in 1896. However, we are still not quite there yet, says NCWNZ National President Rae Duff.

“If our founding President Kate Sheppard were to see where we are at today, I think she would be pleased with some of the progress that has been made but also saddened by the gender inequality issues that still persist in our society.

“From health, safety and economic wellbeing, to education, influence and decision making –gender inequality remains as a core issue.

“Estimates of our gender pay gap range from women being paid 11.8 per cent to 14 per cent less; one in four women experience intimate partner violence or sexual violence in their lifetime; and, women only occupy 31% of seats in Parliament.

“Over the years, NCWNZ has successfully worked towards reducing inequality and some of our achievements include free and longer education for children, the appointment of women Justices of the Peace, jurors and police, equality in divorce law, and greater representation of women on boards and councils,” says Rae Duff.

“NCWNZ’s history has mirrored our country’s growth and nationhood and today, we look toward our vision of a gender equal New Zealand where all people have the freedom and opportunity to determine their own future.

“We are making progress towards this vision thanks to a growing awareness of the issues and the action being taken by businesses, government, families, communities, individuals and the like.

“We want to thank everyone who has been a part of this and supported NCWNZ in its work. Every little bit makes a difference.

“To our members, leaders and supporters, happy Founders’ Day.”

ENDS

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