The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women can be encouraged by the priorities set by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the next three years. They are the areas that we, BPW NZ, have focussed on and they continue to be key areas to work on for better outcomes for women.
The Hon Jo Goodhew, Minister of Women’s Affairs, when presenting these priorities said that while New Zealand women have gained much from the leadership of previous generations there is still work needed in key areas.
The three priorities continue to be the areas which can provide the greatest benefits for women and consequential benefits for New Zealand. There areas are:
- Achieving greater economic independence
- Increasing the number of women in leadership roles
- Achieving increased safety from violence for women
We, as BPW NZ, can agree completely with these priorities and know that the work we are doing is aligning closely with what the Ministry of Affairs is working to achieve.
Greater economic independence is possible where women are able to make the best use of their skills to enable choice in education, training and work that will result in benefit for them and their families over their lifetime, Of particular concern is lower skill, low wage employment.
Increasing the number of women in leadership roles and developing the pipeline to governance careers is important. Representation on state sector boards is high compared to other counties and there has been recent progress in the number of women on private sector boards. But there is still much more to be done to encourage more women to take up leadership roles. In order to prepare women for participation at the highest levels of governance and management their participation at all levels of responsibility will need to increase so that their skillsets can develop.
Improving women’s safety from violence remains a high priority. The Government is continuing to investigate legislative and policy initiatives to increase safety for women. The ministry’s work on revictimisation has informed work with the wider justice agencies and it will continue to focus on any solutions that can prevent, mitigate or reduce the impact of this widespread issue.
The plan is for the work of the National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women (NACEW) to align with the Ministry’s priorities.
To find out more go to: http://mwa.govt.nz/documents to see all the Ministry’s publications including the full Statement of Intent.