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NCWNZ supports Glenn’s $80m pledge against family violence

18 July 2012

NCWNZ supports Owen Glenn’s $80m pledge against family violence

New Zealand philanthropist Owen Glenn’s offer to fund a Commission of Inquiry into family violence and child abuse nationwide has been strongly supported by the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ).

His pledge coincides with NCWNZ’s presentation of the Aotearoa New Zealand Non-Governmental Organisations Report to the United Nations (UN) committee monitoring discrimination against women, which took place in New York this week.

NCWNZ National President Elizabeth Bang commented, “Family violence is an issue which remains an overwhelming concern for New Zealand women and it is one of the key points that NCWNZ representative, Beryl Anderson, raised with the UN committee, which is interested in how New Zealand is meeting its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).”

Co-ordinated by NCWNZ on behalf of a coalition of NGOs, the report found that more women in New Zealand are disadvantaged by violence than any other factor - legal, financial or political. On average, the New Zealand Police attend a family violence callout every six minutes, with 50% of all homicides of women being committed a partner or ex-partner.

Elizabeth Bang added: “We congratulate Owen Glenn for his generous offer to fund a much needed Commission of Inquiry. We need widespread and cross-party support for this initiative so that robust policies and close co-ordination can be combined to make a real impact.”

Other key issues impacting women that were highlighted at the CEDAW committee presentation include policy changes that affect women’s participation in the labour force; the effect of the Canterbury earthquakes on the employment of women; the gender pay gap; participation in public life; sexual health; the lack of an action plan for women; the need for a legislative review of forced and underage marriage; welfare reform; the needs of transgender people; and the need for abortion law reform.

CEDAW is an international treaty and rights based framework which was adopted in 1979 as one of six primary international documents for the protection and promotion of human rights. It was ratified by New Zealand on January 10, 1985.

Governments of countries that have ratified CEDAW are obliged to submit reports to the CEDAW monitoring committee every four years, outlining their progress in meeting their obligations under the convention.

On behalf of a coalition of NGOs, the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) co-ordinated an alternative, or shadow, report to the CEDAW monitoring committee and presented this report to the committee on Monday, June 16.

ENDS

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