Auckland, November 10, 2019
Dr Pushpa Wood, one of the most respected women in our midst, has been honoured with the Zonta International Award.
The Illinois (Oak Brook), USA based Zonta International is a leading global organisation of professionals established 100 years ago to empower women through service and advocacy. It envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognised as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential.
About Dr Pushpa Wood
As the first country in the world to extend the suffrage to women, New Zealand has been increasingly realising the need to more to improve the lot of women and provide them equal opportunity with equal pay.
Women like Dr Wood are achievers in multiple disciplines and have made a difference in their professions, families, and communities and in the larger sense to the country.
She has worked across the School, Tertiary, NGO and business sectors.
The Zonta Citation said, “Dr Pushpa Wood became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to financial literacy and interfaith relations. She was the first Indian women awarded with this honour and the first person in New Zealand to receive an award for both financial literacy and interfaith relations. In many of her roles, she focuses on gender issues and her work also shows how she recognises the importance of culture when addressing these gender issues. Pushpa is currently Director, Westpac Massey Fin-Ed Centre at the Massey Wellington Campus.”
About Zonta International
Zonta International’s centennial celebrations started in New Zealand on November 8, 2019 and concluded 47 hours later in Hawaii.
In New Zealand, Zonta is celebrating the milestone with celebrations from Whangarei in the North to Invercargill in the South.
Zonta New Zealand Governor Souella Cumming said that the organisation’s role in empowering women in 2019 is as relevant as it was 100 years ago when Zonta was first started in Buffalo, New York USA in 1919.
“Zonta has made significant progress in some areas such as education and political representation but issues of equity, gender violence and contribution to advancing the economic status of women still remain,” she said.
Ms Cumming said that Zonta in New Zealand is a powerful voice against family and domestic violence and advocating for legislative changes.
Honouring Special Women
“Today, we are recognising the achievements of 100 women in New Zealand who have made a significant contribution towards the empowerment of women and girls within this country and globally. In 2016 we recognised the contribution of 50 New Zealand women and now in 2019 we are recognising a further 50 special women to bring the group to 100 Women of Achievement on this special Zonta centennial anniversary,” she said.
The Women of Achievement Award recognises women from household names to the quiet achievers. The contribution of each and every one of these 100 women to the empowerment of women and girls is equally as important. They are a unique representative group from the hundreds of thousands of New Zealand women who actively work towards gender equality and the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.