Advocacy

Advocacy is given high priority in our federation and there is encouragement for all members to participate in club discussions

Submissions & Resolutions

BPW NZ has lobbied on issues such as Matrimonial Property, Student Loans, Employment Relations, Disability Strategies, Prostitution Reform, Pay Equity, Health & Safety in Employment, Paid Parental Leave, the Ministry for Women Action Plan for Women and many more.

Advocacy is given high priority in our federation and there is encouragement for all members to participate in club discussions which lead to the forming of resolutions, to the consideration of resolutions and to the provision of background material for the many submissions that BPW NZ makes.

Clubs present resolutions based on the areas of concern in their communities and the breadth of the subject matter is wide. Debating resolutions that will form the basis of BPW NZ policy and future advocacy is always lively and is a great learning experience for women who want to use their voice on behalf of other women.

When making submissions to Government Select Committees, BPW NZ must check our own policies for relevant policy or use CEDAW or BPW International Policy to make a written submission congratulating the Government where appropriate and making recommendations where we believe change is required.

Oral submissions draw on background material provided by our members and press releases are timed to coincide with the oral submission for maximum impact.

As BPW NZs reputation in the advocacy area has grown, we are now invited to participate in surveys and discussions on draft legislation before it is finalised and formally released for the submission process.

BPW NZ is also recognised for the experience and commitment we bring to advocacy work and this is shown in our work with the National Council of Women and the BPW International Congress.

Working for equal pay has been at the core of BPW NZ advocacy since its inception in 1939.

Work for Equal Pay

When Kristine Bartlett, an aged care worker, won through the Court of Appeal, a landmark equal pay case in 2014, this strengthened BPW NZs collaborative advocacy work and a higher priority was put on working with the Pay Equity Coalition in Auckland and Wellington to strengthen the cases brought before the courts.

Through concerted efforts in 2015 and 2016 with rallies, letters of support and meetings with Members of Parliament, the Government set up a joint working party to investigate the need for full implementation of the Equal Pay Act. The recommendations when released were seen as equitable and the acceptance of the recommendations by the Government in November 2016 was a major breakthrough for all NZ Women.

Red Bag Day

Red Bag Day marks the period of extra days in the current year which women need to work to achieve the same wages that men earned during the previous financial year. The day recognises how much longer women have to work to earn the same as men in one year. It is marked in many countries around the world and the day varies depending on the gender pay gap in any particular country.

Red Bag Day for NZ falls between 18th and 22nd February each year. The red bag is used as a way to represent the economic discrimination.

Forced & Child Marriage

BPW NZ began this work with a resolution from BPW Franklin to our conference and this was taken to the International Congress in Jeju where NZ proposed a resolution on Forced Marriages and we seconded BPW Africa’s resolution on Child Marriage, with both of these resolutions being passed.

Within NZ our members worked with migrant groups collecting information and talking to governmental departments about policies and handling of cases of forced marriage.

There is still much work to be done but resolutions are important in setting global norms and the UN has now made a firm statement that we have to act on child marriage if were are to ensure equality and reduce global poverty.

CEDAW Report

The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the body of independent experts that monitors implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The CEDAW report provides an important tool for countries to use in realizing the potential of women and girls. In the three decades since this convention was adopted by the United Nations and ratified by 186 of 193 nations, countries have incorporated CEDAW principles in their national constitutions, legislation and administrative policies. Countless civil society organizations and individual women have relied on the principles of the convention to improve the lives of women and girls.

The National Council of Women, as an umbrella organisation, coordinates the Alternative CEDAW report for New Zealand with various organisations asked to take the lead in the area of their strength. BPW NZ has the lead for employment and for women with disabilities.

Commission on the Status of Women

The Ministry of Woman convenes the International Caucus – a forum for government agencies and non-government organisations (NGOs) to work collaboratively on issues relevant to the interest and well-being of women. BPW NZ takes an active part in this Caucus and works collaboratively leading up to CSW.

BPW NZ has input in to the work of our Government delegations at CSW and when in New York at the United Nations the Executive Committee Members who attend meet with the delegates each night. They talk about progress of the talks and how we as NGOs can assist with these. BPW NZ receive copies of the discussion papers around the government negotiations on how the agreed Conclusion Paper is navigated. A communication network is set up with the New Zealand Mission and BPW NZ members are kept updated on any changes through the negotiations particularly in the crucial later week.
marriage.

There is still much work to be done but resolutions are important in setting global norms and the UN has now made a firm statement that we have to act on child marriage if were are to ensure equality and reduce global poverty.

There is still much work to be done but resolutions are important in setting global norms.

Women’s Empowerment Principles

The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of Principles for businesses, offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community. They are the result of a collaboration between the United Nations Development Fund for Women (part of UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact, launched on International Women’s Day in March 2010.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are subtitled Equality Means Business.

The full participation of women within businesses benefits the business and by signing the Statement of Support, CEOs demonstrate leadership on gender equality and women’s empowerment and encourage fellow business leaders to do the same.

The 7 Principles are:
  1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination.
  3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers.
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women.
  5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women.
  6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
  7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are promoted in New Zealand by an equal partnership of UN Women National Committee Aotearoa NZ, BPW NZ, the Human Rights Commission, Diversity Works NZ and Zonta International District 16.