Vi­o­lence not ad­dressed

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

New Zealand may be ranked the best place in the world to be a work­ing woman, but it has failed in com­bat­ing high lev­els of vi­o­lence against women and girls, said Dr Gill Greer at a Zonta Club of Mana pre­sen­ta­tion ear­lier this month.

Dr Greer, who was di­rec­tor gen­eral of the In­ter­na­tional Planned Par­ent­hood Fed­er­a­tion for five years in Lon­don, was the key­note speaker at a In­ter­na­tional Women’s Day break­fast at Plim­mer­ton Boat­ing Club on March 10.

Dr Greer talked about the po­si­tion of women and girls in the Pa­cific, Asia and Africa and said the theme of this year’s meet­ing for the United Na­tions Com­mis­sion on the Sta­tus of Women is the elim­i­na­tion and preven­tion of vi­o­lence against women and girls.

She gave in­stances and hor­rific fig­ures of vi­o­lence against women.

Statis­tics spoke to an un­re­lent­ing global pan­demic of vi­o­lence against fe­males, she said, and New Zealand was far from un­touched.

‘‘Is­sues re­lated to the sit­u­a­tion of many Maori, Pa­cific and dis­abled women, or those who are new mi­grants or refugees, con­tinue to re­ceive lit­tle if any at­ten­tion in re­ports.’’

As stated in the 2013 World Devel­op­ment Report on Gen­der Equal­ity and Devel­op­ment, Dr Greer said gen­der equal­ity was not just a core devel­op­ment ob­jec­tive in its own right, but smart eco­nom­ics.

When women have more time, bet- ter health and ed­u­ca­tion they are more likely to be in paid em­ploy­ment, and will rein­vest 90 per cent of their earn­ings back into their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, com­pared with men’s 30-40 per cent.

This lifted them­selves and their fam­i­lies out of poverty and contributed to a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease in gross domestic prod­uct.

Chart­ing pos­i­tive progress, Dr Greer said women now rep­re­sent 40 per cent of the world’s agri­cul­tural labour force and make up more than half the world’s univer­sity stu­dents.

In­creas­ingly, in some coun­tries such as In­dia, they have a greater de­ci­sion mak­ing role at the lo­cal level.

Gen­der gaps in ed­u­ca­tion have closed in many coun­tries, and in poor coun­tries women live, on av­er­age, 20 years longer than they did in 1960, she said.

World Bank ev­i­dence shows coun­tries with higher gen­der equal­ity have lower poverty lev­els and that there is a strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween women’s eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and eco­nomic growth.

Dr Greer is now back in New Zealand as the new chief ex­ec­u­tive of VSA New Zealand.

Up­com­ing events for the Zonta Club of Mana in­clude a re­gional fo­rum and din­ner with An­nah Stret­ton on April 6, an an­tiques road­show, and quiz night. The next club night is April 2. New­com­ers are wel­come. All en­quires to He­len Schafer, 0276 005 794 or 465 0013.

Vis­it­ing: Dr Gill Greer with Mana Zonta Club mem­ber Dr Judy Whit­combe.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.