Quick primer of trans inclusion terms to know

transgender flagGiven the statement posted in March 2023 about the NCWNZ's policy of recognising the rights of transgender people, it is useful to provide a quick primer of terms. This primer is borrowed and adapted from an article published in my college alumnae/i magazine (Vassar Quarterly, Summer 2022). The terms and definitions may differ from individual transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive people may use, however this list might be helpful for those not accustomed to what transgender inclusion educators are working on these days.

First, we need to agree on what gender identity means. This is one's internal, deeply held sense of one's gender as male, female, both, neither, or another gender. Gender expression includes external representations of gender - for example, one's name, pronouns, clothing, haircut, behavior, voice, or body characteristics. Many identify these as masculine or feminine, however we need to remember that what is considered masculine and feminine varies by culture and changes over time. All of us have both a gender identity and gender expression, whether or not you are a transgender person.

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2023 King’s Birthday and Coronation honours

The 2023 King’s Birthday and Coronation honours were announced on 5 June. The list included women receiving 95 (52%) awards and men 87 (48%) – a total of 182 awards. Over 60% of QSMs were awarded to women. Women also received more MNZMs than men.

Following tradition, Her Majesty The Queen Camilla, the King's consort, was awarded the ONZ. Her Majesty has become Patron or President of more than 90 charities, focusing her charitable work on health and wellbeing, literacy, sustainability, the arts, animal welfare and survivors of rape and sexual assault. Both Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and His Royal Highness Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh have held this honour.

The Queen’s Service Order (QSO) and Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) will be renamed in honour of King Charles III. Transitional matters currently being worked through include the Royal Warrant governing the order needing to be updated and approved by the King, and revised insignia designed and manufactured for presentation at future investiture ceremonies. The first honours using the KSO and KSM titles are likely to be announced as part of the King’s Birthday Honours in 2024.

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Debriefing on the Global Women Leaders’ Summit 2023

Woibex logo and website banner for 2023 summitAnmar Taufeek, Board member of the National Council of Women of New Zealand, was funded through a Lotteries Ministers’ Discretionary Fund grant to attend the Global Women Leaders Summit in Dubai in March 2023.

With the remaining funds, she reported on her experiences and her learnings to the members of the Good Deed Group, Auckland, in an informal gathering on 28 May.

Anmar describes the event below:

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In Memoriam: Queenie Ballance QSM

NCWNZ Nelson Branch mourns the loss of their Life Member Queenie Ballance who died on 16th April 2023. She was well known and respected by many in NCWNZ.

Queenie joined NCW Auckland in 1985, representing Federation of University Women. She was the convenor of the NCWNZ Environment Standing Committee from 1992-1998 and, through her leadership, the members of NCWNZ became much more educated and proactive about conservation and environment issues.  She served on the Auckland Branch Executive and was Branch President 1998-2000.

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Meeting with Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan on equity for women with disabilities

Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Lorri Mackness, Betty Ofe-Grant, 24 April 2023
(l-r) Hon Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Lorri Mackness, Betty Ofe-Grant, 24 April 2023

On Monday, April 24th, Lorri Mackness and I met with the Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for Disability Issues. Lorri Mackness is a NCWNZ member and a leader of the Disabled Women’s Forum, and I represented the NCWNZ Board.

We discussed some of the work NCWNZ is doing in the disability space. Only a few days earlier, the Minister had announced $1 million funding boost for the expansion of a regional disability leadership model "Enabling Good Lives" piloted in demonstration sites in Waikato, MidCentral and Christchurch. (Read the press release here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/boost-disabled-voice-system-gears-transformation.)

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President's Kōrero, April 2023

Tēnā tātou katoa,

To state the obvious, this is election year in Aotearoa. As such, the Action Hubs are switching gears from focusing on upcoming policy – which tends to slow down in the few months prior to an election – to encouraging people to use their democratic right to vote. A reminder that our position at NCWNZ is that we are “a-political”, meaning that we:

  • Do NOT support one party more than another
  • Do NOT tell anyone who to vote for
  • DO support women to run as political candidates
  • DO promote women’s issues as topics for election debates
  • DO support people to exercise their democratic right to vote.
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NCWNZ Tauranga UN Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021-2030) project

Logo for UN Decade of Healthy AgeingNCWNZ Tauranga has initiated a collaborative project to provide a platform for the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing Tauranga community activities. The work of the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing (2021–2030) aims to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

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National discussions about family violence and sexual violence planned for May and June 2023

Te Puna Aonui logoAccording to a recent newsletter from Te Puna Aonui, their work on sexual violence workforce capability frameworks for government and non-government agencies requires input from our local communities, specific groups representing victim-survivors, and families. Their Interdepartmental Executive Board has conducted a literature review that identified themes that will inform a series of hui they are planning to conduct in May and June 2023. These discussions will purposely include "tangata whenua and with input from Pacific peoples, disabled people, LGBTQIA+, older people, ethnic, migrant, and refugee communities, and children and young people. ... To ensure people with the appropriate voices, skills and expertise attend the hui series, engagement with sector stakeholders have been initiated through ongoing discussions with Te Ohaakii a Hine – National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (https://toah-nnest.org.nz/) and Te Puna Aonui is reaching out to the communities engaging in the implementation of Te Aorerekura [National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence]."

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NCWNZ Economic Independence Action Hub on Paid Parental Leave

Paid parental leave is a government payment to help make up for lost income when you, an employee, has a new baby. It is also available to the self-employed. As usual criteria apply, but it is a legitimate right for all. Right?

Well, no, actually. Stuff reporter Uma Ahmed articulated this when she published an article "Directors hitting a bump when it comes to parental leave" on 8 February 2022 (reprinted in the Southland Times on February 9, 2022, and then followed up with "Why directors not being eligible for leave is an equity issue" (21 March 2022). Persons in elected positions, e.g., territorial authorities or directors of companies, are not eligible as they are not considered to be employees: they are contractors.

Who knew? Well some elected young women didn’t think to ask the question until after they declared their pregnancies. What did they find? There are no universal protocols to cover this situation.

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International Women's Day 2023 Activities

International Women’s Day 2023 was a real success throughout the Branches of the National Council of Women of New Zealand. Thanks to the generous support of the Te Korowai Whetū Social Cohesion community fund, we gathered communities around meaningful events celebrating diversity on one hand, and empowering women through financial wellbeing on the other. 

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