Women with lower levels of education are more likely to be involved in a violent relationship, a New Plymouth woman has learned.
Dr Andrea Murray returned last month from a women's conference in New York, discussing gender equality and female advancement on the global stage. Topics such as breaking down gender barriers and violence against women and girls were covered.
Murray said violence against women and girls was something which needed to be addressed as it was one of the "primary barriers" to achieving gender equality and ensuring women have "equal access" to resources and security.
Data presented at the conference showed women who had not completed secondary school education were at a higher risk of being involved in a violent partner relationship.
"So there is a strong link between education and violence," Murray said.
Lack of access to basic sanitation can also be a barrier to girls receiving an education.
"A gynaecologist speaking from India said a lot of the secondary schools don't have clean water, let alone sanitation," Murray said. "You can imagine how hard this would be for the girls."
It was also common for students to walk long distances to get to school, she said.
However, violence against women and girls was not included in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.
Murray's chance to fly to New York came after she was selected for the Soroptimist International South West Pacific scholarship to attend the 58th Commission on the Status of Women, which ran last month.
Soroptimist International is a women's organisation.
"As Soroptimists, we're advocating for violence to be included and measured in the post-2015 goals that are being developed," she said.
It was Murray's first time to the Big Apple and she said the time spent over there was an "amazing experience".
"I . . . had the chance to talk with people from around the world doing fantastic work."
- Taranaki Daily News