Shakti to help youngsters Break Free from family violence

Wendy Vyas

Auckland, March 8, 2017

Shakti Community Council calls for more consideration of the importance of diversity in the global and local movement for gender equality to mark International Women’s Day.

Shakti and partner organisations are hosting an International Women’s Day event in Auckland on March 10, 2017 at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall with the theme ‘No Equality Without Diversity’ with a cross-Party panel discussion, a research panel and the launch of a new Shakti Youth resource called ‘Break Free’ to support young people experiencing family violence.

We are saying that gender equality cannot be achieved if there is inequality between women based on ethnicity, culture, religion, class and disability.

Our event will address the diversity of issues that women in Aotearoa face, as well as globally, with a special focus on migrant and refugee women’s issues.

Globally, migrants and refugees are under attack and scapegoated, women’s rights are backtracking in the US and Russia. There is still a long way to go in Aotearoa to achieve gender equality.

Our campaign to Save Shakti Wellington Women’s Refuge proves that migrant and refugee women’s safety in Aotearoa is not considered a priority for the current government, which has declined funding for the Wellington refuge.

Time for reflection

International Women’s Day is a global event and a time to reflect on the status of women in society and organising towards full gender equality. This event will bring together people from across ethnic and community groups to celebrate the achievements of migrant and refugee women and youth working against family violence in the community.

The event will be opened by Amokura Panoho, the first chairperson of Shakti, followed by a keynote speech by Labour Party MP and Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern.

The research panel will feature some cutting-edge scholarship on domestic violence, racism, disability and social justice.

The cross-Party political discussion will be chaired by Laila Harré featuring MPs Marama Fox (Maori Party), Jan Logie (Green Party), Ria Bond (NZ First), Carmel Sepuloni (Labour Party) and a National Party representative to be confirmed.

This event, open to all in the community, is being supported by Ethnix Links, Pacific Women’s Watch, Multicultural Council NZ and Auckland Women’s Centre.

Free brunch will be served from 930 am to 1 pm.

Wendy Vyas is Spokesperson of Shakti Community Council.

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