International Women’s Day 2023 was a real success throughout the Branches of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. Thanks to the generous support of the Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion community fund, we gathered communities around meaningful events celebrating diversity on one hand, and empowering women through financial wellbeing on the other.
NCWNZ Auckland Branch International Women’s Day Celebration - Women and Money
by Joy Walpole – NCW Tāmaki Auckland Branch President
On Monday 6th March to celebrate International Women’s Day, NCW Tāmaki held an event at Xero called ‘Women and Money’. Why an event on women and money? This is an issue which is near and dear to my heart – as someone who didn’t grow up with home ownership, or knowing anything about investing, financial wellbeing is something myself and the team at NCW are passionate about - making this knowledge accessible for all women.
The 2021 Financial Services Council Money & You report on women and financial wellbeing in NZ showed and our panellists highlighted this information:
- Research domestically and globally highlights that women have lower financial confidence and wellbeing when compared to men.
- We know women tend to have more interrupted working lives, in part-time or self-employed work, often due to taking on primary carer roles for children and wider whanau.
- The age group 18-29 worry the most about money – with those money worries tending to decrease with age.
- Over 80% of female respondents considered their financial wellbeing as moderate to very low, and over 65% considered the same about their overall wellbeing.
- Women have lower incomes due to the gender and ethnic pay gap – and savings gap!
We had an excellent turnout, with approximately 70-80 people in attendance from across the community. We had an education session from one of the education team at Xero, the content included – how to change our money mindset. This was followed by our panel session who gave us excellent advice!
Top tips for financial wellbeing included:
- Talk to your family about financial wellbeing- teach your kids about money and budgeting. If you or a friend is experiencing economic harm, check out The Good Shepherd online.
- Be gentle with yourself! This may all be new information.
- Go to sorted.org.nz, a free service by Te Ara Ahunga Ora Retirement Commission, with tools and resources to help you get ahead financially.
- Educate yourself! Advocate for system reform and for yourself.
- Start an emergency fund! Having a buffer gives you resilience.
- Think about retirement! It is cumulative (so doesn’t have to be huge amounts).
- Check out @empowHER.today, a social network on Facebook supporting women.
- Teach your kids to invest! Sharesies, Hatch, etc.
- Read everything before signing! Even if it is your partner signing the documents.
The panel was followed by some Q&A time from the audience, which turned more into a reflective discussion of the content and different audience members’ experiences with finance.
Pictured here is our host: Danielle Wood from Xero, with panellists Dr Ayesha Scott (AUT), Vanessa Morris (Retirement Commission), Rani Nalam.
Big thanks to the Ministry of Social Development's Social Cohesion community fund, as well as Xero for allowing us to have the event there and our dedicated NCWNZ Auckland Branch Executive team without whom this event would not happen.
NCWNZ Wellington Branch - IWD events
by Amy Rice - Wellington Branch member
To mark International Women’s Day 2023, the Wellington Branch of the National Council of Women Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa (NCWNZ) hosted “Fourth-Wave” – a celebration of the creativity, diversity and experiences of Wellington’s women and gender diverse people. Held at Te Wharewaka Function Centre, Fourth-Wave provided over 100 guests with a night full of fun and surprises!
Fourth-Wave was MC’ed by comedian Gabby Anderson who had guests roaring with laughter from the word go. Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau delivered the opening speech, setting the tone for the rest of the night with her reflections on inspirational women and Wellington’s arts scene. Guests were then treated to the beautiful Sounds of Matairangi - a chamber music group from Wellington East Girls’ College - and the powerful work of poet Devon Webb.
To celebrate this year’s theme for International Women’s Day and the Wellington Branch’s radio show and podcast, Get Woke Wellington, Fourth-Wave brought the two together for a live recorded panel discussion. NCWNZ member and Get Woke Wellington host Aimee Tang expertly moderated the discussion about innovation and technology for gender equality, which featured four inspirational speakers. Demi Kirkpatrick, Daniella Gibson, Anna Guenther and Kaye-Maree Dunn all shared their unique perspectives on how they got to where they are, the digital divide and how to get more young women involved in innovation and technology.
From here, the Shivam Dance Academy New Zealand lifted the tempo of the night with high-energy Kathak and Bollywood dances.
Nina Hogg followed this up with an astonishing whip performance that had guests on the edge of their seats as she lopped the head off the (metaphorical) patriarchy.
Monique Lapins enchanted guests with her violin piece, transporting them to a woodland glen, before Lady Sane ended Fourth-Wave with a bang with her tantalising (and hilarious) burlesque performance.
Fourth-Wave really was a night of celebration and something for everyone! The Wellington Branch of NCWNZ would like to sincerely thank all performers and attendees, everyone who donated tickets to support the event, and Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion Community Fund for partially funding the event.
IWD 2023 as Experienced by NCWNZ Intern, Emma Catteau
This year’s International Women's Day, with COVID restrictions lifted, we were able to gather and celebrate this special occasion by hearing from a diverse and inspiring group of role models from all walks of life. As an intern coming from France, it was my first experience of IWD in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I had the chance to undergo a very eventful day.
The day started with the very early breakfast at Parliament organised by Zonta International Club and hosted by Hon Jan Tinetti. The Minister opened the discussion and informed us on the actions that are being undertaken to promote women’s rights, gender equality and alleviate discrimination and violence. She invited us to reflect on Aotearoa New Zealand’s progress toward an egalitarian society and acknowledged the people who took part in this fight, including Georgina Beyer, first openly transgender mayor, who sadly passed away on March 6th.
Wellington’s Mayor, Tory Whanau, followed her respectful tribute to Georgina, and explained how proud she was to be a Māori leader, who particularly struggled with gender-based violence and addiction. She elaborated on what it is to be a young woman of colour in politics, from her entry to Parliament to her election as Mayor, and acknowledged the resilience of female politicians against discrimination and misogyny.
Being a business woman appeared to be as challenging as being a politician, which we could feel in the story of Jessie Wong, founder and owner of Yu Mei, a leather goods label made in New Zealand. As a very young entrepreneur, she had to face the challenges of a male-dominated economy, in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, that endangered her newly launched enterprise.
NCWNZ Members at Parliamentary Breakfast (l-r): Wutee Amohia, Zeena Khan, Kerri Du Pont, Suzanne Manning, Emma Catteau, Carol Beaumont, Aleisha Amohia
Finally, Paula Tesoriero closed the different speeches, and invited us to keep in mind the intersectionality of feminism, as being herself a disabled woman. She reaffirmed her dedication to achieve inclusiveness and acceptance in New Zealand, as well as her wish for young disabled girls and women to believe in themselves without having to hide, but rather embrace their disability.
Countering violence against women and girls - Royal Thai Embassy
Suzanne Manning, our National President, was invited by the ASEAN Committee in Wellington and the ASEAN Ladies Circle Wellington to the Royal Thai Embassy as a guest speaker, to talk about the ways to change attitudes toward Gender Violence.
Suzanne spoke about the Gender Attitude Survey and its results throughout the years, showing the improvements that have been made in terms of attitude toward gender equality, as well as the areas that underwent a decline.
Rob McCann from White Ribbon also informed us of their strategy to help younger boys to grow up with a healthy masculinity, and work with men of all backgrounds to work toward a New Zealand without domestic and sexual violence. Lastly, Philippa McAtee from Women’s Refuge, gave us a glimpse of what is done by the Refuge and what she is witnessing everyday, reminding us of the lack of means allocated to emergency measures to protect women. These different organisations declared being keen to walk side by side to make this happen and improve women’s lives. Then, Suzanne, Rob and Philippa participated in a panel discussion, answering questions from the guests.
Panel at Royal Thai Embassy (l-r) Rob McCann from White Ribbon, Philippa McAtee from Women’s Refuge, Suzanne Manning from NCWNZ
We are very grateful to the Royal Thai Embassy for inviting us and giving us the opportunity to discuss such an important topic and hope that our message will reach the communities in the ASEAN region.
Intimate partner rape and the trial process: Research, reflections and reform - book launch
Suzanne and I attended the launch of Elisabeth McDonald's book Prosecuting Intimate Partner Rape: The Impact of Misconceptions on Complainant Experience and Trial Process (Canterbury University Press, 2023). This was the occasion to discuss the double violence experienced by women that prosecute their aggressor: the aggression itself and the trial process that follows it. This is the final of three publications, which examines the experience of complainants in 15 intimate partner rape jury trials, as compared to complainant experience in 30 adult rape jury trials (in which the complainant and defendant were not in an intimate relationship).
The discussion that followed the presentation of the book invited us to reflect on the efficiency of the juridical system in New Zealand, implying high hope in regard to the Sexual Violence Legislation Act of 2021 and the measures it is implementing.
This was a very powerful moment, and a safe place for victims/survivors to exchange about their experiences, or simply being acknowledged and heard.
ICW's special issue
For a global view of the International Women's Day 2023, see the special issue of the International Council of Women / Conseil International des Femmes, ICW-CIF Celebrating International Women's Day 2023 (March 2023) https://www.icw-cif.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/ICW-CIF-Special-Issue-March-2023-V4.pdf. New Zealand highlights can be found on pages 14-16.