Author: womenscentre Created: 6/9/2009 1:30 PM
Here we will share information and keep you up to date about Women's Issues as relevant issues arise.

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 Police have launched a survey where adult victims of sexual assault can anonymously provide feedback of their dealings with police.

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Press Release – UN Women National Committee for Aotearoa

The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) joined with other members of the UN family to mark Human Rights Day with a discussion of New Zealands Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at Parliament today.

Little to celebrate for women on Human Rights Day

The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) joined with other members of the UN family to mark Human Rights Day with a discussion of New Zealand’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at Parliament today.

“The report back from the Human Rights Council on our UPR makes for sorry reading with respect to gender equality and violence against women in New Zealand,” says Angela McLeod, President of UN Women NCANZ.

“Many states recommended that the Government work on reducing the rates of violence against women and do more work towards full equality between women and men.

“The report shows that our sister nations have identified a real need to empower women by ensuring the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and this is not just for social reasons but economics too.

“Recent research has shown that by reducing inequalities through substantive equality productivity and GDP is increased.

“So it makes sense to listen to our sister nations, and empower women by keeping them safe, and ensuring substantive gender equality.

“The feedback is clear, the New Zealand government needs to up its game for women,” says Ms McLeod.



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A child poverty report which has ranked New Zealand in the bottom half of developed nations has sparked calls for better monitoring, which one groups says has reached crisis point.

The Unicef report, Measuring Child Poverty, ranked New Zealand 20th out of 35 OECD economies for child poverty.

It used the number of households earning less than 50 per cent of the median income as a measure.

The report also ranked 29 developed countries on deprivation - a measure which looks at the likes of services, opportunities and possessions rather than income alone. New Zealand was not included in deprivation rankings because the data was not up to date.

Every Child Counts, a coalition of child advocacy groups, said the report revealed a crisis in monitoring of child poverty.

Unicef New Zealand executive director Dennis McKinlay said it was imperative to have more immediate data to measure deprivation in New Zealand.

"We need to know how we compare in the international setting so that we can find ways to do better for children who are missing out on some of their basic rights."

Ministry of Social Development data puts New Zealand's deprivation rate at 18 per cent, compared with 15 per cent in Britain, which New Zealand ranked ahead of on the income-based poverty measure.

"The report showed spending on children and families in New Zealand was relatively high, at 3 per cent of GDP.

But Mr McKinlay said much of that went towards remedial services to counter low spending in early childhood, which was less than half the OECD average.

The report also found poverty was not an inevitable situation but was susceptible to government policies.

The report said the full impact of the global recession was yet to be measured, but children were disproportionately affected.

Mr McKinlay said the failure to protect children from today's economic crisis was one of the most costly mistakes a society could make.

Every Child Counts manager Deborah Morris-Travers said children in the early years of life were the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of poverty.

"This highlights the need to closely monitor poverty and deprivation and set time-specific targets to improve the living standards of these children."

Ririki executive director Anton Blank said Maori and Pacific children bore the brunt of child poverty.

A "massive brown underclass" was developing as their populations grew, which would have serious social and economic consequences, he said.

"This is a Polynesian time bomb."

Mr Blank said the report reinforced that child poverty could be alleviated by good policy choices.


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A 'yes means yes' affirmative consent requirement has been introduced for Californian university campuses.

The new bill stipulates that affirmative consent, or voluntary agreement rather than a lack of resistance, is required for consensual sexual activity. The bill also requires California colleges, universities, and community colleges to develop survivor-centred policies for addressing sexual assault on campus.

The bill states:

"'Affirmative consent' means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity.

Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent."

The bill goes on to state that someone who is drunk, drugged, unconscious, asleep or unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition cannot consent. In addition, an accused perpetrator cannot use self-intoxication or recklessness as a defence for thinking that there was consent.

The 'yes means yes' bill is the first law in a US state to make the language of affirmative consent a central principle of school sexual assault policies. Advocates welcomed the bill, saying that implementing the legislation will help change the pervasive opinion that rape must involve physical violence and protest. CALCASA said the bill would set a precedent for other states that may consider implementing legislation for developing survivor-centered policies.

For those of us invested in a world in which the accepted norm for sexual interactions really is that they're participated in with equal consent, it's a no-brainer. Intermittently checking in with your partner(s) to make sure everyone's having a good time shouldn't be seen as an imposition or a buzz killer, but the standard."

NZ Family Violence Clearing House  28/10/2014

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A documentary has been produced in memory of Patricia Ann McGrath, who died as a result of intimate partner violence in January 2013. Available on YouTube and DVD, 'Enough is Enough' tells the story of Northlanders affected by family violence and the harm it inflicts on families and the community.

The documentary, produced by the McGrath family and friends, Northland District Health Board, Northland Police and the 'It's Not OK' campaign highlights three key messages:

•Enough is enough
•Speak out against family violence
•Encourage people to seek help

John McGrath, Patricia McGrath's brother, says,  "In the Maori world the first person to be created was Hineahuone - a female. Women should be held up there - they are really tapu - we need to worship our women. For this to happen from our own men is mind blowing - it should not happen, it should not happen, enough is enough."

The DVD will be distributed through Northland DHB, Police, Work and Income New Zealand, Family Works, Victim Support, Women's Refuge, Life Line, Salvation Army and community health and social providers.

Feedback on the documentary can be provided by emailing

From NZ Family Violence Clearing House

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