Te Kaunihera Wahine o Aotearoa/The National Council of Women of NZ and UN Women Aotearoa wrote a joint letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister Nanaia Mahuta, adding our voices to those of other women's groups calling for continued and extended action to support women and girls in Afghanistan. Our letter can be read here.
We have received a reply from the Minister, in which we were pleased to hear that our government is continuing to take action in this humanitarian crisis. These actions have included "issu[ing] visas to a number of vulnerable Afghan nationals, including human rights defenders, women judges and those from ethnic minority communities at risk", providing targeted assistance to the UN Population Fund (UNPF) and Children's Fund (UNICEF) for services for women and girls, and making statements in international fora, calling for the protection of women's rights in Afghanistan. You can read Minister Mahuta's letter here.
Interactions like this between civil society/NGOs and the government are important, to provide transparency on the government's actions and to give clear indications to the government on what civil society considers important. We are an interconnected global village, and gender equality should not be a privilege only available to a lucky minority.
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