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April 2017 Newsletter

President's Message

International Women's Day 2017 celebrations are now over! Thank you to all of you who held events around the country, attended events and contributed to the UN Women Pacific Fund for Ending Violence against women and girls. Funds are still coming in but we are delighted at the generous response so far.  And for those of us in Wellington, the Day will be long remembered for the women's choir and their pink beanies - they popped up everywhere, their voices soaring with the anthem “I can't keep quiet".

The theme for International Women's Day this year was Women in the Changing World of Work, a theme picked up around the world and the focus at the 61st annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61) in New York.   CSW61 was attended by many NGO representatives from New Zealand including UN Women National Committee Board member Kerry Maw-Smith. We look forward to hearing about what CSW61 achieved in the next few weeks.

Just before 8 March the Minister for Women Hon Paula Bennett announced research findings that indicated that the gender pay gap in New Zealand still stands at 12% - that statistic was sadly already too familiar to us - but what was particularly telling was that the cause is due primarily to bias, conscious or unconscious.  

Addressing education, legislation, childcare provision and family friendly work practices are still essential but addressing that bias is fundamental. It was particularly fortuitous then that Jan Logie's Equal Pay Amendment Bill was selected from the ballot of Members' bills for consideration by Parliament. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the UN Women National Committee lunchtime meeting at VSA in Wellington on 19 April to hear directly from Jan on this Bill and her Domestic Violence Victims Protection Bill, which has been referred to a Select Committee. Real change seems possible with the renewed focus, energy and activism generated during International Women's Day, the solid analysis provided by the research study and now a positive legislative opportunity. It is up to all of us to do what we can to support efforts to get rid of that stubborn gender gap.

An enduring strength of International Women's Day events is the way they bring together women of all ages and from many groups and backgrounds. We highlight achievements but we also demonstrate the strength of working together collaboratively to meet challenges. Let's draw on that strength to make a positive difference for women and girls wherever we are. 

Nga mihi

In This Issue

  • Presidents Message
  • International Women’s Day 2017
  • Equal pay platform of champions launched at CSW61
  • Statement on UNFPA
  • UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
  • Annual Report for UN Women Fiji Multi-country Office
  • Event:  Gender Equality in New Zealand - Making It Happen

Gender Equality in New Zealand - Making It Happen

If you can't join us in person, please join us online - we will be sharing via Facebook Live so keep an eye out for the notification on your Facebook news feeds, or check in to our Facebook page at the start of the event.

International Women’s Day
8th March 2017

On the 8th of March, International Women’s Day, UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand and the Zonta Club of Wellington hosted a breakfast at Parliament.
Angela McLeod, Her Excellency the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Sue Kedgley, Barbara Williams, Deb Moran, Natasha Lewis
Sandra Coney
Guests at the breakfast
Barbara Williams President of UNWNCANZ, Her Excellency the Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, Sandra Coney
Key Note Speaker: Sandra Coney
International Women’s Day, 47 years on, how far have we come?
On IWD, it is good to reflect on where to from here, what are the big issues that need tackling for women and how can we tackle them.  Can women have it all? Can we cling onto to some of the trappings of traditional femininity, and be powerful agents for change? My answer is No. You can’t make compromises and not be compromised. You cannot expect to be treated like an adult while hugging your chains.
We have ended up with a New Zealand with wide and worsening inequalities, and women suffer most in this type of society, directly and indirectly.  On this International Women’s Day, as a task for New Zealand women, I’d like to see the setting of an agreed agenda that would bring about real significant change for girls and women at all levels. A bit like a Working Women’s Charter updated for the 21st century. Now that would be a project women everywhere could work on, and it might just bring us back together as a powerful force for change. 
Read her full speech here.

International Women’s Day
8th March 2017

Celebrating International Women’s Day at the Wellington City Gallery.

In an International Women's Day first for UN Women NCANZ, City Gallery Wellington hosted an evening function to coincide with feminist photographer Cindy Sherman's exhibition.  Proceeds from the function supported the UN Women projects to end Violence against women and girls in the Pacific.  It was great to share a fascinating evening with so many friends, members, and supporters. 
Photos from City Gallery
Personal reflections on a selected portrait:  Nina Nawalowalo
Marianne Elliott – From Action Station Aotearoa
Joy Dunsheath President of UN Association, President UN Women NCANZ Barbara Williams, Elizabeth Caldwell Director of City Gallery and Rebecca Wilson from City Gallery
Women’s Choir

Equal pay platform of champions launched at CSW61
At the CSW61, an Equal Pay Platform of Champions was also launched on Monday 13 March by UN Women and the ILO. These brought together activists, celebrities and governments, including Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Patricia Arquette, Oscar-winning American actor, and Abby Wambach, Olympic gold medallist and soccer star.
Read more here
Statement on UNFPA by Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women 

I join the UN Secretary-General in his deep regret for the decision by the United States to cut financial aid for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and his wish that the life-saving work of UNFPA can be appropriately supported to allow it to continue its critical work.  In our work globally to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women, UN Women has witnessed UNFPA’s life-saving efforts to protect the health of women and girls and their families.  This work must go on in order to support the achievement of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman of the Secretary-General on UNFPA 

The Secretary-General deeply regrets the decision by the United States to cut financial support for the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which could have devastating effects on the health of vulnerable women and girls and their families around the world.  He believes that the decision is based on an inaccurate perception of the nature and importance of the work of UNFPA.As High Commissioner for Refugees for over ten years, the Secretary-General saw firsthand the life-saving character of UNFPA’s activities.  He appeals to donors to increase their support for UNFPA to allow it to continue its critical work during this difficult period.
New York, 4 April 2017
Stephane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General
Facing future challenges on uncertain grounds: a conversation with UNDP Administrator Helen Clark 
From the United Nations Association April 2017

Helen Clark's term as UNDP Administrator ends on the 19 April after two four-year terms. 

We celebrate this great contribution to global development during these last eight years.  There is a thought-provoking interview where she talks about the achievements of the last decade and the seriousness of the challenges that continue to face us. She in which she makes cogent reflections on the current state of the global development effort and on UNDP's part in that effort.
Annual Report for UN Women Fiji Multi-country Office  

UN Women programmes in the Pacific reached more women than ever before, despite the devastation wrought by Cyclone Pam to the Pacific,

Read the report here.
UN Women will be live streaming the event where Jan Logie will be talking about her two Member's Bills - the Domestic Violence-Victims' Protection Bill and the Equal Pay Amendment Bill - and what she hopes these will achieve for New Zealand women. If you can't join us in person, please join us online - we will be sharing via Facebook Live so keep an eye out for the notification on your Facebook news feeds, or remember to check in on our Facebook page at the start of the event.
Thank you for your support of UN Women Aotearoa New Zealand.  There are plenty of ways you can be involved:
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