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VP Issues Update

Updated: Jun 20

Kia ora koutou katoa,

The shortest day of the year is almost here - June 21. This week for work I've been reading about St Brigid of Kildare, a fifth-century women who was a model for care for the earth, justice, equality and peace. She was truly a women ahead of her time and crossed pagan and early-Christian tradition.

An Irish author, Una O'Hagan writes: “As Abbess of Kildare, she managed up to 15,000 nuns. She was ordained bishop. She liberated Irish women from roles as slaves or bondswomen. She was a master brewer of ale, a farmer managing monastery farms, with a particular grá for sheep. She held more power in the Catholic church than any woman before or since.” The Feast Day of St Brigid is February 1 - which in the northern hemisphere signals the beginning of spring.

Onto the work of the Issues Taskforce. We met in late-May and and Individual Members have delivered two lobbying letters from resolutions they moved at our AGM - one about hospice funding and the other seeking further restrictions on access to e-cigarettes. Tino pai!

We submitted to the Ministry for Women on the national Beijing+30 national-level review, which looks at New Zealand's progress against the Beijing Platform. Considered the most progressive blueprint ever for advancing women’s rights, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action will be the theme for the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, March 2025.

We also provided feedback on the recommendations from New Zealand's fourth Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. A considerable number of the recommendations referred called for the government to take action to address Gender-Based Violence (GBV) - so were disappointed that Budget 2024 shows cuts to initiatives to address GBV.

You can read more about our further concerns with Budget 2024 by revisiting our recent media statement. Link here...

The United Nations released a statement on the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (16 May). It's worth a read (and isn't long!) and ends "As we commemorate this day, UN Women urges all stakeholders to foster intersectional alliances and act in solidarity with other critical movements to help drive our common goal of realizing equality, justice, and freedom for all."

I think Brigid of Kildare would approve.

Ngā mihi nui kia a koutou,



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