NCWNZ calls on government to increase its support for Afghan women on Suffrage Day 2021
On the 128th anniversary of New Zealand women being the first in the world to win the right to vote, the National Council of Women Te Kaunihera Wahine o Aotearoa is concerned at the fragility of women’s rights around the world, and how easily rights that have been hard-won over decades can be erased, the President of NCWNZ, Dr Suzanne Manning, said today.
“We are particularly concerned at the situation in Afghanistan, where there are reports of ongoing human rights abuses, of women losing their basic right to education and employment, being excluded from society and forced to retreat into their homes,” Dr Manning said.
“We are calling on our government on Suffrage Day 2021 to announce additional measures to support women and girls in Afghanistan, and for the evacuation of at-risk Afghanis – especially women and girls who were associated with Aotearoa New Zealand’s mission in Afghanistan,” Dr Manning said.
“We support the call by numerous organisations and leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand for the government to increase the number of Afghanistan refugees we admit, to prioritise applications from women and girls, and to expedite the processing of Refugee Family Support visas and Critical Purpose Visitor visas.”
“We are also adding our voice to the voices of women leaders around the world who are calling for the government of Afghanistan to refrain from violence against women and girls and to uphold the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan,” Dr Manning said.
Even as we recognise our suffrage history and the work of suffragists and wāhine toa before us, we must also acknowledge that there is still much work to be done to achieve equality and better lives for women in Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.
For further information contact:
Dr Suzanne Manning, President, NCWNZ
022 655 6512