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Decision-making still dominated by men

15 August 2003

Decision-making still dominated by men

The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) applauded the UN CEDAW Committees recommendation to the Government that steps be taken to address the under-representation of women in decision-making.

New Zealand’s high profile women do not reflect the level of decision-making for the vast majority of women in this country.

The Committee urged the Government to strengthen its policies in supporting the private sector’s efforts towards the promotion of women in decision-making positions.

“The concerns raised by the committee about persisting inequality within the private sector and the reluctant uptake of action of equal opportunities, challenges the sector and the Government to redress this issue” said Ms Anderson. “Private sector employers should no longer expect women to sit placidly by as their male colleagues receive the honours.”

“Gaining recognition for this issue from the UN CEDAW Committee, will potentially offer New Zealand women more responsibility and empowerment. This should be considered a small victory on the road to achieving equality,” said Beryl Anderson, National President.

The last local and national elections both saw a decrease in the number and proportion of women as civic leaders and parliamentarians.

Concluding comments from the UN CEDAW Committee recommended that the Government urge all political parties to enact their responsibility to achieve equality between women and men in political life.

The NGOs also reported to the Committee that the vast majority of government and quasi government boards are overwhelmingly male and draft legislation is considering downgrading EEO reporting requirements for some government entities.

The Committee recommended that the Government adopt a comprehensive strategy, including special temporary measures to strengthen its efforts to increase the number of women in policy- and decision-making positions at all levels and in all areas in the public sector.

“Considering the Government has been given the power under the Convention to fast-track equality many women’s organizations will be keenly awaiting the measurable outcomes”, said Beryl Anderson.

NGO representatives, Anne Todd-Lambie and JB Byrne, recently appeared before the United Nations CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) Committee to present the non-Maori NGO (Non-Governmental Organisations) Report on the civil, social, economic, cultural and political rights of New Zealand women. The Status of Women – NGO CEDAW Report, was a collaborative effort involving over 100 New Zealand women’s organizations.

ENDS

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