Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Women and girls, every day

Women and girls, every day.

Volunteer Service Abroad CEO Gill Greer writes to mark International Women's Day.

Today is International Women's Day - and while there are reasons to celebrate, the World Economic Forum has estimated that the global inequalities between women and men in education, health, income and more, will not be closed until 2186.

One hundred and sixty-nine years is a long time to wait. And it will not come any sooner as long as women and girls are unable to access the basic health services they want or are denied the right to have children by choice not chance. The USA’s reinstatement of the "global gag" rule means that many health and counselling services that health care organisations offer around the world will now be denied to millions of women and girls.

These include public health campaigns, sexuality and life skills education, education in nutrition, access to contraceptives, treatment for sexually transmitted infections, antenatal care, safe birth and delivery services, vaccination programmes and more. Once again millions of women and girls will be denied both voice and choice. Once again it is assumed that every act of sex is wanted, even when a girl or a woman says no, that every pregnancy is intended, even though many women will want more for their children rather than more children.

In my previous role as head of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, working in 170 countries, I saw first-hand what that lack of funding meant for women and girls when this rule was last in place: it cost countless lives. Now at least US$600 million will be withdrawn from organisations that provide vital sexual health and relationship services for women and girls, and men and boys will of course be affected too by the cuts in services and clinics. This affects organisations VSA works with in the Pacific, supporting women who are simply looking for opportunities that are everyone’s right. The opportunity to be safe and healthy, to choose the number and spacing of their children, the right to earn a living and to be equal. People around the world are stepping up to fill this funding gap - governments, businesses and individuals pledging to ensure women and girls are not left behind once more.

VSA is no different. For decades, we worked with people in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Today we focus on the wider Pacific. Our volunteers contribute in health and education; in reducing violence against women and girls; in agriculture; in supporting women’s greater participation in decision making; in business and employment, and recently in mitigating the impact of climate change on their lives and on future generations. At this time of global volatility and disorder, and in our region which has the greatest risk of natural disaster, the threat of increased inequality for women is greater today than many would have predicted even three years ago.

In the Pacific the impact of inequality on girls and women is a daily reality, preventing them from reaching their full potential. But when girls and women are able to bridge the inequality gap, they will, one by one, lift their families and communities out of poverty and drive long-lasting development - across nations and across the region.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

A new independent report has outlined a number of serious concerns about New Zealand’s seclusion and restraint practices, says the Human Rights Commission...

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

 

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Asylum: Dunne Accepts Hundreds Of Postcards On Refugee Categories

Minister Peter Dunne today accepted over 800 postcards calling for convention refugees to have the same entitlements as quota refugees... The campaign has been run with ActionStation together with LUSH Cosmetics, with postcards being signed in stores around New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Reshuffle: PM Announces Changes To Ministerial Portfolios

Prime Minister Bill English today announced the appointment of Gerry Brownlee as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nathan Guy as Minister of Civil Defence, Nikki Kaye as Minister of Education and Mark Mitchell as Minister of Defence. More>>

ALSO:

Q+A Transcript: CTU Call For 'National Standards' On Wages

‘If you look at countries who do better than us, who pay wages better, who have more competitive industries, more successful economies, they have systems where there are national standards.’ More>>

ALSO:

Energy: Greens Launch Plan For Cheaper And Cleaner Electricity

$112 million for winter warm-up payments to help low-income households cover their power bills • setting a goal for 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030 (in average hydrological conditions) • an investigation into the electricity wholesale market. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news