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Celebrating International Women's Day

Last updated 05:00 10/03/2014

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Wellington women were urged to help their less fortunate global counterparts at a glitzy event celebrating International Women's Day.

The British High Commission drew 300 diverse Wellington women to its celebration at Shed 6 on Saturday, which featured 2013's Commonwealth Essay Competition winner, 19-year-old New Zealander Katherine McIndoe, reading her essay To Boldly Go about women's potential.

British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell asked attendees to help struggling women by donating time, skills and money to organisations helping women, to buy fairtrade products that benefited women's collectives where possible, and to become an advocate for women by lobbying politically for their rights.

Education for girls, ending sexual violence and increasing women in leadership roles were priorities for Ms Treadell in hosting the event.

"It is a call to action. Where better to have the function than the country and city where women first got the right to vote?"

Justice Minister Judith Collins announced on the night that she would be representing New Zealand at a global summit to end violence against women, in London, in June.

The summit, which would focus on ending rape in war zones, would be co-hosted by British foreign secretary William Hague and United Nations special envoy Angelina Jolie.

Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown said it was shocking only 8 per cent of listed company directors were women.

There was a danger in New Zealand of complacency about women's social standing because many prominent political positions had been filled by women in the past, she said.

Ms Wade-Brown was also disappointed only 24 per cent of local government candidates were women last year, but noted they had disproportionate success: 40 per cent of elected representatives were female.

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- The Dominion Post


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