International Women’s Day celebrated

16 Mar, 2018

Professor Edwina Pio encourages everyone to make a daily commitment to #pressforchange on International Women’s Day

AUT Professor of Diversity and University Director Of Diversity, Edwina Pio, joined more than 120 other women to celebrate International Women’s Day at an event co-hosted by the Auckland Regional Migrant Services (ARMS).

Celebrating the ordinary and extraordinary women who have changed, and are changing, New Zealand’s history, Professor Pio encouraged the audience to question how they will Press for Progress, the theme for 2018.

“How can we compassionately challenge biases?” says Professor Pio.

“We are all diversely different. Each of us can be shape shifters and future makers and we can dream the world into existence.”

She said that collectively we can all play a part today and every day in celebrating women’s achievements with daily micro-generosities rather than micro-aggressions. She emphasised the notion of multiple identities based on source and host country.

Joining Professor Edwina Pio were guest-speakers Nurain Janah, accountant at William Buck New Zealand, Denise Roche, former Green Party MP and a member of the Waitematā Local Board, Judith Mukakayange, community engagement coordinator, Positive Women and Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Labour Party list MP.

ARMS’ Chief Executive, Rochana Sheward, believes that this day is to reflect on the importance of gender equality, to celebrate the successes of women, and to acknowledge the work that is still left to be done.

“As we are celebrating the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand, which gave all women in New Zealand the right to vote, there is a lot more which needs to be done in order for our women to progress, socially, economically and politically, “ she added.

Ms Sheward adds, “Through our community projects, we have worked with highly motivated and inspirational women, who – despite several barriers such as language and transport – have strived to achieve their goals. We want to help these women progress further.”

Guests at the celebrations will be encouraged to sign-up to the #100womenpressforprogress campaign, which advocates for the following issues:

  • Valuing women’s contribution in the labour market through equal employment opportunities
  • Increasing women’s representation in leadership through grassroots training, education, and mentoring opportunities
  • Improving the lives of women in employment through equal pay
  • Increasing the safety of women and girls by taking a proactive advocacy and response approach to violence

After the event, a written submission will be made to the Ministry of Women with the supporting signatures.

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