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Pride as Ministry Marks 20th Anniversary

Pride as Ministry Marks 20th Anniversary

Women's Affairs Minister Lianne Dalziel said the 20th anniversary of the official opening of the Ministry of Women's Affairs on Saturday is a time to reflect on the achievements of the Ministry.

New Zealand has been a world-leader in terms of women's equality since 1893, when we became the first country in the world where women won the right to vote.

"I am proud of that beginning and proud of what has been achieved since. In the short time since becoming Minister of Women's Affairs, I know that I head an effective, pro-active and agile team that punches well above its weight as the smallest public service agency," Lianne Dalziel said.

But there is also regret in this commemoration. When the Ministry was established it was clearly intended to be for a finite period. The hope in 1986 was that the structure of inequality would be demolished.

Sadly many women's issues that remain today are intractable and cannot be solved solely by government action. The problems of domestic violence and the clustering of women in low-paid jobs have much of their roots in social attitudes and behaviours.

We must therefore all work closely together - women, men, families, communities, non-government organisations, and government - to achieve better outcomes for women.

During this term of the Labour-led government our priorities of economic transformation, strengthening families - young and old, and building national identity are being advanced by the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Enabling women to reach their full potential is not just important for the women themselves and their families, it is also critical to New Zealand's long-term success as a nation.

ENDS

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