Portraits de femmes en Nouvelle-Zélande - Forum Génération Egalité 2021 [en]

En amont du Forum Génération Égalité qui se tiendra à Paris du 30 juin au 2 juillet 2021, trois femmes vivant en Nouvelle-Zélande et engagées pour l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes partagent avec nous leurs parcours et leurs réflexions. (Interviews en anglais.)

Le Forum Génération Égalité est un rassemblement mondial pour l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, organisé par ONU Femmes et co-présidé par la France et le Mexique, en partenariat avec la société civile et sous son impulsion.

Après Mexico en mars 2021, le Forum Génération Egalité culminera à Paris du 30 juin au 2 juillet.

Loren Pasquier, French artist in New Zealand, Wāhine Project - The Woven Women

PNG
“Wāhine gives a space for women to express themselves and be as raw and honest as they want to be ; and to feel safe in doing so. I want their stories to be heard and listened to in a deeply respectful way.”

Loren’s interview (click to open)

Bonjour Loren ! Can you please introduce yourself ?

My name is Loren Pasquier, I am a French artist based in the city of Nelson in New Zealand.

My work is dedicated to bridging the gap between cultures using my sense for framing stories to bring people together.

My passion is creating art that connects people. This collides with my background of degrees in Art, Design and Anthropology.

As an artist I use different media such as photography, videography, sound and installations into which I bring a layer and link to social issues. You can find me on social media at thewovenwomen. Or you can visit my website thewovenwomen.org

Could you briefly explain what is your project and how it is related to gender equity ?

My project is called The Woven Women, the exhibition derived from my project is called Wāhine (which translates to Women in the Māori language). Wāhine gives a space for women to express themselves and be as raw and honest as they want to be ; and to feel safe in doing so. I want their stories to be heard and listened to in a deeply respectful way.

I believe that in general, women’s voices don’t have as much space to be heard as that of their counterparts. Women are underrepresented in so many aspects of life, society and in the different roles that are out there. This is especially the case when it comes to positions of power, leadership and decision making.

As talented and as driven, skilful and brilliant as many women are, there is often a cultural glass ceiling that stops them from reaching those sorts of positions. There are many factors that account for why this is the case. Being a woman myself, what I have mentioned is a potent issue for me.

In the context of New Zealand I became aware of the gap, trauma and wound there is between Māori and Pākehā (Non-Māori New Zealanders), which is raw and present. There is a history of marginalisation of Māori Women in New Zealand.

Because of this divide, I want to use my skills, sensitivity and privileges to put their stories at the forefront of Aotearoa/NZ’s culture. I want to make a space for them to shine, to hear their wisdom, the experience of their life, and for them to be the ones delivering the messages we are listening to.

Which specific gender equity gap would you like to address and how would you like to do it ?

I would like more women to be in positions of power, leadership and decision making. And maybe it needs to start with a 50/50 ratio in our societies’ decision making spaces. Perhaps if a legislation of this nature was to be implemented, at least in the beginning, I can imagine there might initially be women less experienced for the roles they’re in ; maybe thinking this is me just being brainwashed. It is harder to even get the necessary experience, knowledge and recognition so, of course, less of us have the opportunity to build the CV you need to get in these positions. Nevertheless, I believe that by more women being seen in these positions young girls can grow up knowing that this is what they can aspire towards. They can strive towards those positions and responsibilities that our society has for them.

At present, because young girls don’t see their role-models in these positions it’s kind of like subconsciously telling them ‘this can’t be you’. For Māori women and young Māori girls it’s even more the case given their even greater-lack of representation. Things are changing for the better but I want us to build on this momentum, I don’t want to settle on what we’ve already got.

Would you have a message for New Zealand women and women in the Pacific region ?

My message for them would be to strive towards having a similar mindset that I am striving to have in my life. That is, even if you’re taught that something will be too hard or that it’s not the way things are done, if you still believe in it, trust that you will make it happen. Trust you will have the skills you need and you can get the future and the life that you want. I believe that.

Every journey takes many steps. In my opinion, it is so worth it to start that journey and keep going step by step. It will be hard and there will be so many hard moments on the way but every single one of them will be a lesson. Maybe you will only get so far, yet even if you don’t make it to the initial idea that you had first set out towards you will still have taken so much from the journey. You will gain so much knowledge and so many skills. The next journey you go on will be one where you are more grounded because of these lessons.

I remember having a feeling and a fear of not knowing which direction I should take. The reality is that we can’t plan these things. It’s what life brings to you, and what you will dare to take from it. I had no idea I would be in New Zealand today doing what I’m doing. Now, there is nothing else I would rather be doing. This is what I want to do.

Your journey will evolve in your life. In 5 years you might be doing something completely different to what you are doing today. No matter what, don’t give up on yourself. You’ve got this !

Is there any particular issue you would like the gender equality forum to address ?

I would like to hear the forum discuss and come up with a plan on how best to implement generational change.

I believe that the source of the problem and the source of the solution lies in the first years of our lives and in education. I can see how we are heading in the direction I want and that I hope for. I believe, as I mentioned before, that if young girls (and boys) grow up believing they can do anything, and if they strive, dedicate time and work hard, then they can make it happen.

If that’s what you’re told when you’re a young girl (or boy) then you are better equipped. It will take generations for this to happen but if we don’t do it now we’ll make the same mistakes as those who chose not to act before us.

thewovenwomen.org
Forum Generation Equality

Loretta Elive-Daunakamakama, Pacific leader, Awesome Women Network NZ

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“At the end of the day, it is only when we acknowledge and embrace our unique differences, working in partnership with one another will we be able to solve the complex challenges we face. It is our common humanity that binds us.”

Loretta’s interview (click to open)

Bonjour Loretta, could you please introduce yourself ?

I am Loretta Elive-Daunakamakama, a 39 years old working mother of two boys aged 14 years and 4 months old with the same father.

Could you briefly explain what is your project(s) and how it is related to gender equity ?

I am the Founder of the Awesome Women Network (AWN), made up of diverse women and girls from all walks of life with a commom purpose and goal of "Strengthening the Sisterhood for Awesomeness".

I founded this Network in September 2017 which was born out of adversity and my longing to have a supportive group of women and to see the faces and to hear the voices and stories of diverse women that make up our society. Our network contributes to the goals of gender equity by celebrating and amplifying the successes and positive stories of all women, as well as providing a platform to catalyse conversations about topical issues impacting women.

For example, before COVID-19, our network held a series of panel discussions focused on the following topics :

  • 1) Women’s Voices - #MeToo #Wetoo
  • 2) Women and Money
  • 3) Women in Leadership - Leadership in action
  • 4) Conversations with rural women
  • 5) Special screening of a web series about unconscious bias titled : "The Misadventures of a Pacific Professional"
  • 6) Special evening with the Minister responsible for addressing violence against women

Through these conversations, women who attended gained new knowledge as well as friendships, connections and a Sisterhood network to call on for opportunities and help as needed.

We have a strong online presence on our Facebook channel where we showcase and profile success stories of diverse women who are breaking barriers and achieving great things for women and society in general. These women are shown as role models and examples of the great and awesome things women can do. By doing this, we are able to make visible diverse role models in order to show that "we can be, what we can see" - and that there is no limit to what women can achieve, together.
I also personally mentor a few young women.

What sort of difficulties if any have you been facing as a woman, in your daily life, in your career or in your different projects ?

As a woman, a young Pacific woman working in mainstream, I have encountered many barriers and difficulties personally and professionally over the years. This is because in nearly all of my roles and teams, I was often the lone voice and face in the team or in the room or on a project. I have had to carefully navigate my way in order to make the impact I wanted which was to make a positive difference.

For me, I have used negative experiences as fuel to keep pressing on, to overcome and to help create more awareness and understanding across diverse people. At the end of the day, it is only when we acknowledge and embrace our unique differences, working in partnership with one another we will be able to solve the complex challenges we face. It is our common humanity that binds us.

Which specific gender equity, gap to fill, issues would you like to address first and how do you do it ?

Galvanize more male champions to be #HeforShe champions in the home and at work. In particular, re-balancing and redefining the load of care-giving in the home. As a new mum, I have a new appreciation for the unequivocal support of my spouse. I know many new mums and women more generally, carry the bulk of the care-giving load. Often times, this load is on top of demanding paid-roles that some women have. On the other hand, we have many gifted and brilliant women who have taken a step out of the workforce to be the primary care givers when they have children, which means the world misses out on their brilliance. We need more male champions who can be equal partners in the home and work.

For me personally, I am fortunate to have a very supportive partner, and #HeforShe champion who supports all my endeavours. He has opted to stay home to care for our baby and be the primary care giver so I can return to meaningful work in a role that I enjoy. He also does most of our household chores. He is a wonderful role model to my two sons, who are also my #HeForShe champions.

Here’s food for thought - It takes two people to make a child, so why does it have to be the woman that has to be the primary care giver ?

If both men and women play more equal roles in the home, our children will grow up in a world that is more equal, where girls and boys are valued and celebrated equally.

Would you have a message for young women in New Zealand and in the Pacific region ?

Have the courage to be yourselves. Stand in your own truth and embrace all that they are without needing to conform to certain societal expectations of what women and girls should be. Be kind yourselves, and seek be an agent of positive change for our generation, and generations to come.

Is there any particular issue you would like the Generation Equality Forum to address ?

Looking at gender equality from an intersectional multi-layered lens to enable the diverse and rich tapestry of voices of all women to be heard.

More inclusive spaces for diverse voices of women to share their stories and lived experiences, for example from old to young, stay-at-home mums and working mums, ethnically diverse women from all walks of live.

Merci beaucoup ! Thank you so much for your time !

Awesome Women Network
Forum Generation Equality

Jessica Sutton, Women’s Rights Advocate in New Zealand, She’s Right NZ

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"If we can teach children early that girls, boys and gender diverse people are equally capable and worthy of respect, we may be able to stop the seeds of future violence."

Jessica’s interview (click to open)

Bonjour Jessica, could you please introduce yourself ?

Bonjour ! My name is Jessica Sutton, I am 24 years old, and I work in the justice sector, as a law clerk. I recently graduated from law school at the top of my class, and in September I will begin my Master’s studies at Oxford University in the UK under a Rhodes Scholarship. My main area of interest is the intersection between women’s rights and the law, particularly in the context of international law.

Could you briefly explain what is your project and how it is related to gender equity ?

Alongside my academic work which focuses on women’s rights issues and feminist legal theory, I am the chair and co-founder of an intersectional feminist charitable trust called She’s Right. We publish weekly educational articles and podcasts, aimed at raising awareness of global women’s rights challenges. The idea for the trust came out of discussions with other delegates during my participation in the LabCitoyen women’s rights conference in Paris in 2019. I felt that each of the young activists I met had incredible stories that needed to be shared in New Zealand – thus, She’s Right was born. The trust will soon celebrate its 2nd anniversary. A highlight of our year is our participation in UN Women’s 16 days of activism to end violence against women public campaign, from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day). In what we have termed our “women’s rights marathon”, we publish one new article or podcast every day for the 16 days, dedicating each article to a woman who has lost her life to gender-based violence.

Through She’s Right, I am hoping to elevate the message of intersectional feminism and bring it to the attention of people who might not otherwise have engaged with women’s rights. Feminism is still disparaged by some people – some out of ignorance or misogyny, some because they associate the movement with white women fighting for themselves and excluding the needs of other women. I want to demonstrate that real feminism is intersectional, and that the rights and needs of indigenous women, women of colour, LGBT+ women, and disabled women are central to the movement.

What sort of difficulties if any have you been facing as a woman, in your daily life, in your career or in your different projects ?

Young women in the legal industry inescapably face certain obstacles. The industry remains male-dominated in its upper echelons, and career advancement as a woman is challenging. Young female lawyers must contend with issues ranging from casual sexism in the workplace to sexual harassment and assault. Outside of the workplace, just being a woman brings a level of fear – fear of exclusion, fear of harassment, fear of violence. But I know that I have a lot of privilege as a white woman with a legal education. I am also very lucky to have never been a victim of gender-based violence. I feel I have a duty to use my skills for the benefit of those who have less privilege, in particular women of colour, indigenous women, and trans women who are often mistreated in a legal system that was made by, and for, white men. I aim to dedicate my career to combatting the systemic discrimination that women face, particularly in the legal system.

Which specific gender equity, gap to fill, issues would you like to address first and how do you do it ?

My key area of interest is the eradication of gender-based violence – violence most frequently perpetrated by men against women because of their gender, or violence that is disproportionately experienced by women. Within this area, intimate partner violence has been a focus of my research and She’s Right work. Aotearoa has one of the worst rates of intimate partner violence in the developed world. Solving intimate partner violence is not simple. A variety of factors must be considered, including misogyny, gender roles, poverty, and the impact of colonialism. The issue must be approached on multiple fronts – not only, for example, funding women’s refuges and deploying more support to Maori women who experience violence more frequently, but also addressing prevention. I am a strong advocate for gender equality education in schools. If we can teach children early that girls, boys and gender diverse people are equally capable and worthy of respect, we may be able to stop the seeds of future violence. This basic gender equality education could then be built on at high school, through detailed teaching about consent and healthy conflict resolution. I think education is an unparalleled means to avoid unhealthy gender stereotypes taking root and harming our young people.

Would you have a message for young women in New Zealand and in the Pacific region ?

I would tell young women that we are living at a time where sexism and misogyny are on the rise, and we need strong advocates on this issue. I strongly believe in the potential of women and girls in Aotearoa and the Pacific to be leaders, peacebuilders, and activists. Aotearoa has one of the highest rates of gender-based violence in the OECD. Women here and in the Pacific experience the absolute grief of seeing women dying because of gender-based violence, most frequently at the hands of their partners, the people that should love and protect them. An important way to combat this harm is to seek out information and collaborate with other advocates to draw attention to the rights and needs of women and girls. Anyone can speak out on this issue, and it is imperative that more people do.

Is there any particular issue you would like the Generation Equality Forum to address ?

I hope that the Generation Equality Forum will focus on the harm that the COVID-19 pandemic has done to women’s rights globally. Women are approximately 70% of our frontline health workers and the majority of unpaid care workers, meaning they are most exposed to infection. Further, the economic downturn is hitting women most severely, as women are still primarily concentrated in informal or part time jobs which are being lost through the pandemic. Out of the 11,000 job losses in the first quarter of 2020 in Aotearoa, 10,000 were jobs held by women. Really pressingly, I would like the Generation Equality Forum to address the rise in male violence against women during the pandemic. Lockdowns, although necessary, have led to increased intimate partner violence and other family violence. This increased violence, combined with the economic damage women have sustained during the pandemic, means that women’s rights are in a particularly dangerous position in 2021. We must take a stand to protect them.

She’s Right NZ
Forum Generation Equality

Dernière modification : 30/08/2021

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