President's Kōrero, June 2022

Ngā mihi nui e te whānau o Te Kaunihera Wāhine o Aotearoa.

I hope you all enjoyed Aotearoa’s first Matariki holiday, and managed to keep warm in the midwinter weather. Matariki is a time for reflection, gratitude, remembering those who have passed on, and resetting ourselves. Let’s hope that these values remain central to the holiday and that Matariki does not become over-commercialised.

ICW Avignon 2022
ICW-CIP in Avignon 2022. Image courtesy of ARPC newsletter.

The International Council of Women – Conseil de Femmes International (ICW-CIF) held their general assembly in Avignon in France during May: check out the venue in the photo! This meeting is generally held every three years, although this one was delayed due to COVID. Jungsook Kim from Korea ended her term as President, and Martine Marandel from France was elected as President for the next three years. Hean Bee Wee was re-elected as the Asia-Pacific Region Council (APRC) President, also for three years. The triennial theme is “Empowerment of Women: Peace and Sustainable Development”.

The mid-term Executive Committee meeting will be held in Wellington, in September 2023 – we were successful in our bid! This will create an opportunity to showcase our work both nationally and internationally, so we will look to hold a national conference alongside the Executive Committee. Following that, the next General Assembly will be in Australia in 2025. 

NCWNZ Board at June 2022 meeting in Wellington
NCWNZ Board, June 2022, Central House Wellington. (l-r) Betty Ofe-Grant, Suzanne Manning, Kerri Du Pont, Anmar Taufeek, Nina Santos, Carol Beaumont. Image courtesy of the Board.

The NCWNZ Board meeting in June was face to face, held in our rooms in Wellington. It was a pleasure and a privilege to meet, talk and work with the team. We welcomed Beryl Anderson and Eileen Brown at the end of the meeting for a social gathering, and would have welcomed Soraiya Daud, too, except she was unwell. We wanted to show our appreciation for the extensive mahi that these people do for us.

At the meeting we signed the new Constitution, passed at the March SGM and now uploaded to Charities Services – although it won’t show until we’ve filed this year’s annual report. This was the culmination of a long process of re-examining our values, structures and processes.

Now we have the task of implementing our new ways of working, and refining our processes so we can be the impactful advocate for women’s rights and gender equality that we want to be.

Suzanne Manning signing 2022 Constitution
Suzanne Manning signing the new Constitution, June meeting 2022. Image courtesy of Nina Santos.

The Board members continue to be very busy on a range of tasks. Just as an indicator, between us we attend events such as Annual General Meetings and Award ceremonies; we liaise with Action Hubs and the Parliamentary Watch committee; we are progressing the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion work; and, we respond to media requests.

Have you seen Nina Santos on TV3’s AM show? She’s almost a regular on their panel, giving a gender-informed commentary. We also created a joint media release about the Roe v Wade court decision, withdrawing the federal constitutional right for women in the US to access safe abortions.

Collaborating with our member organisations on issues like this where we can find common ground, is something we’re keen to do more of.

I would also like to give a shout-out to Kerri Du Pont, who recently (among so many other things) took time out of her busy work day to help sort out some critical website issues. With our new online membership renewal system, we are relying on our website to function smoothly. We are lucky that Kerri has the tech knowledge to be able to help, but it does highlight that to be sustainable we need to invest in tech support. In our new ways of operating, this is no longer an optional extra.

Ko te tumanako ka ora ake koutou – I hope you all stay well.

To read more articles from The Circular (issue 635) click on the tag below.

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