MORE WORK STILL NEEDED ON EQUALITY ISSUES – TE HEUHEUWomen's Affairs
New Zealand had made huge progress on issues of equality for women since suffrage 106 years ago, but there was still a lot of work to be done, Women's Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu said today.
Mrs te Heuheu made her comments at the opening of the International Winning Women Workshop on sport in Christchurch, organised by the Hillary Commission.
"Our country is rich in the history of pioneering women who have paved the way for our participation and excellence in sport.
"After years of hard work and the enthusiasm of women generally, we are starting to see female role models emerge as an inspiration to New Zealanders, both young and old.
"We have come a long way, but as this workshop acknowledges we still have a long, difficult, and demanding way to go.
"In too many countries, girls and women continue to be discriminated against and do not enjoy equal participation in sport and physical activity.
"In many countries, sport is still seen as the domain of men, and women are sadly excluded.
"This workshop aims to provide a forum for delegates to share information, ideas and gain inspiration and to address issues such as leadership, networks and relationships, coaching and refereeing, marketing and promotion techniques.
"I'm pleased that the issue of women and sport is much higher up the political and social agenda than it was in the early 1990's and I'm pleased to be part of a Government and a country that cares about the equality of women.
"It's important that we do justice to women and men alike and to remember that for all the good reasons, sport is more than just a game! It's about self esteem, self confidence, healthy minds and bodies, socialisation and enjoyment."
Mrs te Heuheu thanked the Hillary Commission for its work in promoting women's sport through it's Winning Women Charter and the KiwiSport programmmes for young New Zealanders.
She also noted the work of organisations like the Young Women's Christian Association that had been instrumental in the promotion of women's sport this century.