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(ANZASW) celebrates and welcomes International Women’s Day

The Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Social Workers (ANZASW) celebrates and welcomes International Women’s Day.

Today we reflect on both the progress that has been made in terms of the struggle for gender equality as well as the work that remains to be done.

Aotearoa New Zealand retains the honour of being the first nation in the world to grant votes to women; the country continues to perform well in global rankings for gender equality, making the top ten in a report by the World Economic Forum’s on the issue last year.

The pay gap between men and women decreased between 2016 and 2017 according to government figures, falling from 12% to 9.4%; however, other studies have indicated that it could in fact be as much as 16% in private firms. The author of the latter study, by Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, said “to put it simply, our research suggests that sexism is likely to be a major driver of the gender wage gap.”

Violence against women continues to be a serious problem in Aotearoa New Zealand. According to the “Are you OK?” project, 1 in 3 women experience physical and/or sexual violence from a partner in their lifetime.

ANZASW is opposed to all forms of discrimination and abuse, including sexism and gender based violence, and strongly supports equal pay and equal opportunities for women.

With this in mind, the organisation expresses solidarity with women struggling for their rights across the world, especially in areas where doing so puts them at risk.

Social workers in countries across the globe are committed to principles of human rights and social justice, working every day to improve the possibilities for disadvantaged people, including women. In many cases they do so in environments where women’s rights are severely under attack.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, ANZASW strongly welcomes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s stated commitment to achieving pay equity and looks forward to further progress on the issue.

From an international perspective ANZASW stands ready to support the movement for women’s rights and offers its total solidarity to those who fight for this urgent cause.

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