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Have your say on women’s action plan

Have your say on women’s action plan

Public consultation meetings are being held around the country in February and March on a plan of action to address the challenges facing New Zealand women.

Women’s Affairs Minister Ruth Dyson is encouraging all New Zealanders to have their say at the meetings, most of which are being hosted by the National Council of Women and Maori Women’s Welfare League with support from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (see attached timetable.)

“The Women’s Action Plan will provide a clear vision, set of goals and framework across government. It is important that we hear from as many people as possible about life for women and girls in New Zealand, and how government and the community can best respond.”

A discussion document, Towards an Action Plan for New Zealand Women, forms the basis for the meetings. It has three key themes: women having enough money to care for themselves and their dependants; balancing women’s work, family, whanau and community roles; and preserving women’s general well-being, including safety, security, housing, physical and mental health.

“Women have made significant progress in many areas,” Ms Dyson said. “However, there are ongoing concerns, including gender pay differences, work/life balance and equitable access to services and resources.

“We need to acknowledge the special role of Maori women as tangata whenua. We also need to address the particular issues that face Pacific, rural, migrant and refugee women, women with disabilities, and low-income women. Addressing these issues is in the interests of all New Zealanders, and will have positive spin-offs for men as well.”

People can attend public meetings in their areas, run their own meetings with the help of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs consultation kit, or send in written or oral submissions. The ministry is also holding focus group discussions with key groups of women to ensure a wide representation of views. Submissions close in mid-March.

Copies of the discussion document, consultation kit and timetable for regional meetings are available from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, PO Box 10 049, Wellington, email mwa@mwa.govt.nz, or on the website: www.mwa.govt.nz

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