Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Wong focuses on violence against women in Suffrage Day release

Found on Scoop:

Suffrage movement transcends boundaries

The Suffrage movement, led by Kate Sheppard, was a win for all women in New Zealand some 116 years ago, with their good work ensuring women are able to break down barriers and fulfil their potential.

The 116th anniversary of women first gaining the right to vote marks an event that revolutionised the world and catapulted New Zealand onto the world stage as a “fair nation”.

Women’s Affairs Minister Pansy Wong delivered the keynote speech at the Christchurch City Council’s Annual Women’s Suffrage Day Luncheon, where Maori women’s historical involvement in gaining the right to vote was honoured with women from many ethnic communities being invited.

“New Zealand’s daughters can’t walk in the path of pioneers like Kate Sheppard to fulfil their potential if they do not even live in a safe environment. Domestic and sexual violence are black marks in our country’s proud history and we have to erase them,” Mrs Wong says.

“The Ministry of Women’s Affairs’ significant research study, Strong and Safe Communities will soon provide added insight to assist in the elimination of violence against women. It will help Police, Courts and other services better understand and tackle issues faced by victims of sexual violence.

“The Ministry is also teaming up with the Office of Ethnic Affairs to undertake the Ethnic Women and Intimate Partner Violence study, which will unravel drivers of violence, identify practical ideas and examine good practices to meet the needs of women in ethnic communities.”

Elimination of violence against women, tackling the pay gap - which has been stalled at 12 percent since 2001 - and the promotion of women in leadership are three priorities of the Ministry that will honour the spirit of the Suffrage movement for the benefit of all New Zealand women.

Interesting that Wong responded to questions in Parliament about what the Govt was doing to address the gender pay gap flippantly earlier the same week she must have written a media statement highlighting it as one of her Ministry's three priorities...

Good comments around violence against women though, which is nice to see.

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