Women march for equality, human rights and peace on International Women’s Day
“Show New Zealand that Wellington is a Peace city and committed to recognising the contributions women make towards society by joining in our walk or attending our Peace Celebration at Te Papa this Friday”, this is the call from a group of young women determined to raise the banner for this year’s United Nations International Day of Women.
This is the second year the group called ‘Wellington Women Walk 4 Peace’ have joined together to organise a march that starts at Parliament and finishes at Civic Square with singing and self defence. “Last year we had nearly 200 women and men on the march,” says organiser Belinda Bonzon-Liu. “This year we hope to double that. We have incorporated a visit to some of the key Wellington peace memorials on the way to Civic Square and for the first time we have the support of Te Papa to hold a celebration at 6.30pm in Te Marae.”
We are blown-away by the broad coalition of organisations that are supporting us this year. From a simple celebration on International Women’s Day, the event is beginning to be recognised as a “national event”, says Matilde Tayawa-Figuracion, a co-organiser of the event.
At a time when the United Nations Human Rights Council is calling for submissions on the universal periodic review of New Zealand’s human rights record and the current talks at the United Nations on the Status of Women, many non-governmental organisations, groups and individuals are reflecting upon the critical issues we are facing at home including domestic violence rates, child poverty issues and the institutional discrimination against women relating to employment and income inequality.
Many of the organisations delivering submissions for the UPR review are also supporters and endorsers of the initiative including Women’s Refuge New Zealand, UN Women NZ, the United Nations Association of New Zealand, the Human Rights Commission
“Deb Moran, who is the Director of Policy for the Ministry of Women’s Affairs will launch the Peace walk and British High Commissioner Vicki Treadwell will be a keynote speaker at the Te Papa Peace celebration.
Musicians, singers and a children’s choir are also part of the celebration and messages from the Rt Hon. Helen Clark the administrator for the UN’s development programme, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Corrigan-Maguire and UN Women Director, Michelle Bachelet will also be presented. Artworks, donated materials, autographed books and other great prizes will be part of a silent auction raising money for Women’s Refuge, Shakti of Wellington and the Daya Trust.
Members of the public can join the march by assembling in front of the Parliament library at 12.15 Friday March 8th. That night they are welcome to come to the Te Papa Mare from 6.30pm for entertainment, refreshments and to bid on the silent auction.
For more information please visit: www.www4peace.org.nz or contact Belinda Bonzon-Liu: 027 322 685 or Matilde Tayawa-Figuracion 027 476 3787