Issue date
14 March 2024

68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women: Statement at Ministerial Roundtable session. Delivered by: Te Tumu Whakarae mō te wahine | Secretary for Women and Chief Executive, Kellie Coombes.

Tēnā koutou katoa [Greetings].

Chair, esteemed colleagues, I am honoured to be addressing this discussion today.

Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to lifting women out of hardship through targeted investment that supports their economic empowerment.

We must address the factors pushing women and girls in all their diversity into poverty, especially for those experiencing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, including indigenous, disabled, LGBTQIA+, sole parent, rural, ethnic, faith and religious minority women and girls.

In New Zealand, we consider the distributional, long-term and wellbeing impacts of Government budget initiatives through our Living Standards Framework. The framework takes a holistic approach to improving the wellbeing of New Zealanders in areas such as, health, housing, employment, and education. We also incorporate sex and gender disaggregated data into our budget assessments.

We work to mainstream gender equality across all areas of government actions and decision making to promote women’s economic empowerment, and in doing so, reduce poverty. New Zealand’s Bringing Gender In tool helps to ensure that the needs and interests of women and girls in all their diversity are considered in all areas of policy development.

New Zealand works closely with Pacific partners to advance regional gender equality commitments. We mainstream gender equality through supporting, for example, the Pacific Youth Engagement, Empowerment and Employment Pathways initiative which has a specific focus on supporting young women in Tonga and the Solomon Islands. New Zealand has also supported the Markets for Change project to ensure marketplaces in Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are safe, inclusive, non-discriminatory and promote gender equality and women’s empowerment.  

We have worked with our partners in the Pacific to improve gender-responsive financing and have previously provided budget support to some Pacific Island Countries directed at providing social protection for priority populations, including women and girls. This is in addition to targeted funding for women’s empowerment in the Pacific through our partnership with national governments, and regional NGOs such as the Pacific Feminist Fund.

All these actions are important as we work together to achieve the goals set in the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 2030 Agenda to end women’s and girl’s poverty.

Ngā mihi nui. Thank you.