“Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls” is the priority theme of the event, and it’s 10 years since a session of the Commission on the Status of Women has focused on this.
Te Ohaakii a Hine National Network Ending Sexual Violence Together (TOAHNNEST) Tauiwi Caucus is pleased that New Zealand has joined a United Nations initiative pledge to take action to end violence against women and girls.
At the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Women’s Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew announced New Zealand’s pledge under UN Women initiative, COMMIT, to take steps to ensure women and girls are able to lead violence-free lives.
By making this pledge New Zealand joined 46 other Governments around the world who have promised to take action to end violence against women and girls through COMMIT.
Several TOAHNNEST representatives have self-funded to attend the UN 57th Commission on the Status of Women with the focus on the elimination of violence against women and girls. They have joined the record 6,000 NGO and government delegates determined to stop the worldwide epidemic of violence against women and children.
One of the TOAHNNEST Tauiwi delegates in New York Dr Kim McGregor said “I am hopeful that because the New Zealand government has made the promise to take action to end violence against women and girls, it will follow through by ensuring there are adequate resources for sexual violence support services many of which are currently struggling to provide vital specialist services to their communities”.
Approximately one in four girls and one in eight boys in New Zealand are likely to experience sexual violence. Treasury estimates sexual violence is the country’s most costly crime.
Worldwide an estimated 150 million girls under 18 suffer some form of sexual violence each year.
TOAHNNEST representatives from both the Maori caucus (Nga Kaitiaki Mauri) and the Tauiwi caucus are sharing their knowledge about sexual violence prevention and interventions strategies and are learning about initiatives from other countries.
TOAHNNEST participated in a presentation alongside Womens Refuge, Pacific Island Safety and Prevention Project and Shakti about unique indigenous, non indigenous and Pasifika approaches to end violence against women and girls. The presentation was a great success with standing room only and glowing comments from several participants about the wairua (spirit) that was present in the panel presentation.
Louise Nicholas, National Survivor Advocate representative on TOAHNNEST Tauiwi Caucus, who is also attending says “I am really impressed with how some countries’ governments are supporting their specialist sexual violence service initiatives and I look forward to working even more closely with the New Zealand Government to ensure that our survivors of sexual violence receive the best support and service that they deserve.”
Maggy Tai Rakena another TOAH-NNEST Tauiwi delegate says ” I am delighted to have the opportunity to attend CSW57 to learn how other nations respond to the worldwide scourge of sexual violence and l look forward to sharing some of these initiatives with NZ service providers.”