New Zealand advances in gender equality and inclusion

Through initiatives such as Women’s Employment Action Plan, progress continues to be made in women’s education and workforce participation.
By: | July 12, 2023
Topics: DE&I | New Zealand | News

New Zealand is continuing to make progress in the areas of improving outcomes, wellbeing, and equality for women.

Specifically, advancements continue to be made in improving women’s educational attainment, labour force participation, and support for women in paid work, according to a recent report presented to the United Nations.

According to Jan Tinetti, who holds the positions of New Zealand’s Minister of Education, Minister of Women, and Minister of Child Poverty Reduction, these advancements can be attributed to the implementation of the 2022 Women’s Employment Action Plan, known as Te Mahere Whai Mahi Wāhine, and other initiatives.

“The Action Plan is the first ever employment action plan for women in New Zealand and has a focus on wāhine Māori, Pacific women, young and older women, disabled women, women who are former refugees and recent migrants, and the Rainbow community,” she explained. “It provides a roadmap toward a better future for women’s employment and educational pathways and looks at immediate and long-term actions that are needed to help disadvantaged women.”

Tinetti emphasised that while progress has been made, there is still work to be done to address prevailing inequities. Specifically, she underscored the challenges faced by women from marginalised communities, and said, “I look forward to the next steps that we are going to take to resolve inequalities in this country and make it an even better place to live for everybody.”

“In 2023, representation for women on public sector boards and committees is also the highest it’s ever been, with wāhine now making up to 53.1% of members. Māori and ethnic diversity and representation has also increased steadily since 2019, when data collection for ethnicities on boards began.”

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The government, she added, will continue to collaborate with these communities and all women to develop effective solutions and provide increased opportunities for women of diverse background and circumstances.