A speech by Sue Kedgley ONZM, convenor of the NCWNZ Influence & Decision-making Action Hub and former member of New Zealand Parliament, delivered to the Women on Boards Summit on 17 August 2023. (See the whole program here.)
I can still vividly recall the jubilation I felt when Laila Harre’s Paid Parental Leave bill, which gave all women employees a statutory right to 12 weeks of paid parental leave, was passed in Parliament in 2002. It had taken years of lobbying and working with women’s groups to get the
legislation passed, and it felt like a huge milestone for New Zealand women. I was equally delighted when paid parental leave was extended to 18 weeks in 2016, and 26 weeks in July 2020. At the time, I assumed the legislation applied to all women in employment in New Zealand, and so it never occurred to me, or I suspect to most other MPs, that the right to parental leave did not extend to women who were company directors or to locally elected Councillors.
Get on out there! Whether you are a member of a local NCWNZ branch or of an NCWNZ Action Hub, we rely on you to help with collaborations across organisations with a similar mission to get things done at the local, regional and national levels. As stated in the NCWNZ 2020 report A Sustainable Future - Free from Gender Discrimination: "Our strength comes from our membership, which includes individuals, branches, and organisations from unions and NGOs to community organisations."
Currently, we have 13 local branches and more than 200 member organisations, as well as individual members. In addition, we have members and non-member volunteers who serve on six Action Hubs. The Parliamentary Watch Committee, an evolution from one of the original components of the NCWNZ since its founding in 1896, coordinates the writing of official submissions and our combined input into consultations with Parliament or with international organisations such as the United Nations' international treaty, Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).Read more
On Friday 16th June 2023, the Influence & Decision-Making Action Hub of the NCWNZ organised and hosted a webinar on the topic of "How Do We Counter Misogyny?" The recording is viewable on the NCWNZ YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/H7Z9BRV3iMc. Five hundred and thirty people registered for the webinar, and over two hundred showed up - with several registrants hosting viewing parties in their local organisations. This event was a follow-up to last year's successful webinar, "Countering Misogyny" (available at https://youtu.be/JCHnvPVarkI).Read more
In November 2022 the Policy Group for Criminal Justice led by Corinne McIlwrath were in the process of preparing a document on sexual violence and family violence for Minister of Justice Kiritapu Allan. The Minister has responsibility for the formulation of justice policy and for the administration of law courts, and the Policy Group is working to craft new legislation that will update the Crimes Act 1961.
The Auckland Coalition for the Safety of Women and Children (ACSWC) together with the National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges (NCIWR) reached out to McIlwrath to provide additional insights into issues specifically regarding stalking and harassment. They worked also with members of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ). Key authors for the paper submitted to McIlwrath were Alison Towns (ACSWC), Natalie Thorburn (NCIWR) and Bernice Williams, a member of the NCWNZ Influence and Decision-making Action Hub. The Policy Group's recommendations to the Minister included the joint paper as an appendix.Read more
This piece was crafted by NCWNZ member Anne McCarthy after having attended the event. With over 250 participants, the topic and expert panelists attracted much attention. More information is coming about how the NCWNZ can follow up on the issues raised by the panelists and the Decision-Making and Influence Action Hub.
A webinar entitled ‘Countering Misogyny,’ facilitated by Sue Kedgley and the NCW Decision-Making and Influence Action Hub, took place on the 1st of July 2022. It consisted of a panel discussion amongst four leading New Zealand women’s rights advocates, journalists Mihingarangi Forbes and Alison Mau, Christchurch city councillor Sara Templeton, and researcher Kate Hannah. Its intent was to call out misogynistic online abuse to trigger a national conversation focusing on increased social and legislative safeguards in the future.Read more
On Monday 16 May 2022, the NCW Influence and Decision-Making Action Hub hosted an online event to hear what is important to young women and give them a chance to share their perspectives, thoughts, barriers and interests.
This initial kōrero focused on getting to know other young women from across NCW and understanding any barriers they, or others they know, face to being involved in NCW -- both to membership in general and to taking on leadership positions. By "young women," the organisers meant anyone who identifies this way. Generally for those under 35 years of age, but the organisers admitted they knew "age can be just a number."Read more