New Zealand Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia

Message from MFAT CEO John Allen – International Women’s Day

Tuesday 8 March 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (IWD), an internationally significant day celebrated across the globe. The global United Nations theme for the day this year is ‘Equal access to education, training and science and technology: Pathway to decent work for women’. Celebrations continue throughout the month of March, with hundreds of events taking place worldwide to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

There will not be an official celebration due to the impact of the Christchurch earthquake but MFAT has co-hosted a speaking event with Oxfam in recognition of the day.

Barry Coates, CEO of Oxfam New Zealand and a member of Minister McCully’s Advisory Board, has brought Beauty Erawati to Wellington as part of the commemorations. Beauty is a leading Indonesian human rights lawyer and internationally-respected gender justice specialist and spoke to MFAT staff on the morning of Tuesday 8 March about her important work in the Nusa Tenggara Barat province of Indonesia. An open invitation to this event was issued to all staff by Deputy Secretary International Development Amanda Ellis.

Beauty is the Executive Director of the Association of Indonesian Women for Justice (APIK). APIK has been Oxfam’s partner in Indonesia for eight years and is a pre-eminent non-government organisation supporting women’s empowerment and economic development by delivering legal aid, human rights education and capacity building throughout Nusa Tenggara Barat province. APIK is also the lead organisation supporting all other NGOs working on Gender Justice in Indonesia.

Next Wednesday morning New Zealand Global Women are also holding a breakfast event between 7.15am - 8.45am at Deloitte House to help celebrate International Women’s Day. Panelists Theresa Gattung and MFAT’s own Amanda Ellis will speak on "Opportunities, Challenges and Successes".  The panel will be moderated by Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, the Independent Director & Chair of Global Women in Leadership.

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