Women’s Council pledges to foster gender equality

Venkat Raman

Auckland, September 19, 2017

Wellington based National Council of Women has vowed to vigorously pursue the cause of women, encourage their empowerment and more importantly, work cohesively with likeminded organisations to promote gender equality.

Experienced Leader

Vanisa Dhiru, who was recently elected President of the Council, is a strong advocate of equality at all layers of the social fabric, work place and business.

As well as being the Vice-President of the National Council of Women for the past three years, her previous assignments and engagement have seen her in leadership roles at several Non-Governmental Organisations and charitable institutions. She was the Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand and 20/20 Trust and has advised the government on diversity, digital forums and funding.

Qualified Chief Executive

Dr Gill Greer, an experienced equity activist and advocate, was appointed to the post of Chief Executive of the Council, which marks its 121st Anniversary this year.

Dr Gill was previously Chief Executive, Volunteer Service Abroad and Director General, International Planned Parenthood Federation. She has represented New Zealand on volunteering, human rights and development issues at the United Nations.

Gender Equal NZ

Ms Dhiru and Dr Greer will work together to strengthen the Council and build the newly launched ‘Gender Equal NZ Movement,’ launched recently.

The Work Programme of the Movement includes New Zealand’s first gender attitudes survey; development of a gender equality dashboard to hold policy and decision makers to account on progress; and establishment of taskforces, the first of which will drive equal representation of genders in the media.

Ms Dhiru said that she and Dr Greer will ensure that New Zealanders of any gender get the equality they deserve, including equal opportunity and access without stereotypes, through ‘Gender Equal NZ Movement.’

Strong commitment

Dr Greer said that she was delighted at the opportunity of serving the National Council of Women, an iconic organisation with wide membership.

“The Council is committed to remaining relevant and responsive and to tackling today’s challenges as it has done in the past,” she said.

Among the others who were appointed to the Board of the Council at the Conference were Ali Jones (Christchurch), Lisa Lawrence (Motueka), Arna Metcalfe (Auckland), Terese Tunnicliffe and Jessica Venning-Bryan (Wellington).

About the National Council of Women

The National Council of Women in New Zealand was established in 1896 by Kate Sheppard, the woman who fought for the right of women to vote, and other prominent leaders of New Zealand’s suffrage movement.

The Council accounts more than 290,000 members drawn from 43 national organised members and 240 local organisations who are members of 21 branches around the country.

Anyone can join the ‘Gender Equal NZ Movement. Please visit www.genderequal.nz

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