“New Zealand women are being let down by systems and institutions that continue to disenfranchise them.” says National President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ), Lisa Lawrence, who strongly believes there must be an urgent focus on creating equity which fosters equality, and supports everyone to reach their full potential.
“There is so much work going on to enable women and gender minorities, but there is more to do.” says Lisa Lawrence (Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Ruapani).
“The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Creating an Equal and Enabled World’ and that clearly resonates with us in Aotearoa New Zealand,” she says, “However the National Council of Women of New Zealand wants to see more and faster action.”
NCWNZ says creating an environment where everyone has the same opportunity is absolutely key, and that should be supported by everyone. “We must work together, walking alongside those who face inequalities and who are unable to access opportunities because of barriers they face. By making an environment equitable, inequalities are addressed. Those in the disability sector especially know this mahi is hard but the positive outcomes are life changing.” says Lisa Lawrence.
New Zealand women are being let down by systems and institutions that continue to disenfranchise them says NCWNZ.
“There is work to be done around poverty, homelessness and low pay, all of which disproportionately affect women. It’s deeply disappointing but not surprising that 63% of the female prison population is Māori. This is a direct result of a lack of equality and a lack of enabling behaviour by institutions.” says Lisa Lawrence.
However, there is a cause for celebration around the recent recognition of women at the New Zealander of the Year Awards. Dame Margaret Sparrow (Senior of the Year) is a champion of reproductive rights. Good Bitches Baking (Community of the Year) is literally a group of women set up to help others. Georgia Hale (Young New Zealander of the Year) already has a significant profile of work, helping others through charity drives and mentoring.
“All of these women have been recognised for their service to the community, and they serve a range of different communities. All of these women are working to create a more equitable and therefore more equal and enabled world. But isn’t that what we should all be doing?”
NCWNZ encourages people to get together and attend one of the many events around the country, or get together and watch the livestream of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand and Zonta Club of Wellington’s International Women’s Day 2020 Breakfast from Parliament.