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Support for Bringing Back Kate

Support for Bringing Back Kate

The National Council of Women New Zealand says there has never been a better time to draw on the legacy of Kate Sheppard.

National President Barbara Arnold said the council urged New Zealanders to support Women’s Refuge’s Bring Back Kate campaign. The just-launched campaign aims to raise money and get the Government, community and inidviduals to take more action to reduce domestic violence.

“New Zealand can be incredibly proud of Kate Sheppard’s determination and skill in making sure our country was the first in the world to grant women the vote in 1893. However, from being first in achieving this major breakthrough, our country should now be ashamed at our domestic violence statistics.

“In 2013, there were 11,700 prosecutions for domestic violence-related offences.”

Kate Sheppard was widely acknowledged as the leader of the women’s suffrage movement and was a founding member and first President of the National Council of Women New Zealand (NCWNZ) when it established in 1896.

“During Women’s Refuge’s Awareness Month and Annual Appeal Campaign, we call on all New Zealanders to act however they can to reduce the number of women who are victims of violence. It may be that you can donate money, or support the refuge’s call for Government to have an independent inquiry into relevant services and systems.

“You might be able to help by donating time to Women’s Refuge or another group like the National Council of Women New Zealand that supports women. Your way to make a difference might be becoming more vigilant so you can identify someone with a violent partner that needs help.

“And if you’re a man and you hurt women, stop and seek help.”

Ms Arnold said New Zealand had progressed in many areas of gender equality since New Zealand women got the vote and the National Council of Women was established.

“We’ve come a long way but we’ve further to go. Women get paid less than men, and are less likely to be in leadership or decision making positions.

“A well-known Kate Sheppard quote was ‘all that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome’. The domestic violence happening in our communities is inhuman and must be overcome.

We encourage New Zealanders to unite and take action, and for the Government to do all it can to stop domestic violence. Let’s use this awareness month to see what momentum we can build and what difference we can make.”

ENDS

Visit www.womensrefuge.org.nz or campaign website bringbackkate.co.nz


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