New Zealand faces similar gender equality issues and opportunities to those of its neighbouring countries, according to the latest international conference on women’s empowerment.
National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) National President, Rae Duff, said violence against women and economic empowerment of women to achieve gender equality were key topics at a recent Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, held in Bangkok. The conference was organised by the Asia-Pacific Regional Council of the International Council of Women, the National Council of Women of Thailand, in cooperation with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The conference was part of the lead up to the United Nation’s review next year of the Beijing Platform for Action, put in place in 1995. The New Zealand government has signed up to the platform – a global plan for achieving gender equality.
NCWNZ and the United Women National Committee for Aotearoa tabled and spoke to a report they co-wrote in consultation with New Zealand’s women’s groups, which assessed our country’s progress towards the Beijing platform.
“The key concerns for our neighbouring countries continue to be top concerns for New Zealand too. One in four women in New Zealand have experienced violence and we have a lack of women in leadership roles and a gender pay gap. Another major and growing issue for women in the Asia-Pacific region is the impact of climate change.”
Rae Duff said New Zealand continues to be held in comparatively high regard for how women are treated, although our ranking drop from 5th to 13th in this year’s Global Gender Gap Report was noted.
“The statistics show New Zealand women are still unequal in critical areas, so we need to focus on gender equality in order to get change. The status quo is unacceptable.”