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Report released on Maori women

September 26 2001 Media Statement

Report released on Maori women

Women's Affairs Minister Laila Harré has released a report that identifies some of the key inequalities that exist between Maori women, Maori men and Pakeha men and women.

Entitled Maori Women: Mapping Inequalities and Pointing Ways Forward, the report was compiled by the Ministry of Women's Affairs and highlights disparities faced by Maori women in six key areas – education, employment, income, health, housing and criminal justice,

It also sets out how the government is working towards addressing these disparities, and suggests options for future work.

Laila Harré launched Mapping Inequalities this morning at the Maori Women's Welfare League's 50th Annual Conference, and said the report isn't just a resource for government agencies.

"I hope that it will also be used at a community level to help Maori women within whanau, hapu and iwi to identify their own priorities for development, enabling us to take a more strategic approach to improving outcomes.

"It's an honest report that confirms what we have known for some time – that there are big gaps in social and economic outcomes for Maori women, particularly when we compare them to their Pakeha counterparts."

It identifies areas for action in each of the six key sectors and highlights the need for greater inter-departmental co-operation when it comes to policy development.

"It also confirms that we need to look at the experiences of different groups in a broad range of ways, including by gender and by culture, to fully understand their commonalities and differences.

"For example, Mapping Inequalities reveals that there is common ground between Maori men and women when it comes to outcomes in education and employment, and Maori and non-Maori women face similar barriers around pay equity, violence and victimisation.

"It also highlights issues which are unique to Maori women, such as problems with housing and certain health outcomes."

Over the next year Women's Affairs will be consulting broadly with Maori women as part of the development of a Women's Strategy.

"This will progress the government's aims for women of equity, opportunity and choice while addressing the fact that women are a diverse group with different ethnic and cultural realities.

"We are also putting in place a research strategy with other government agencies to further investigate the critical inequalities for Maori women and the barriers these create to full and equal participation."
ENDS

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