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NZ High Commissioner hopes for ‘a more gender inclusive and equitable year ahead’

Thursday 9 March 2023 | Written by Al Williams | Published in Local, National


NZ High Commissioner hopes for ‘a more gender inclusive and equitable year ahead’
New Zealand High Commission staff on Rarotonga celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday. NZHC/23030832

New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands Tui Dewes says the theme of this year’s International Women's Day is an important one.

Cook Islanders marked International Women’s Day yesterday with the theme “DigitAll, Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.

Dewes, who celebrated the event with her staff, said: “Bringing women and other marginalised groups into technology has been shown to result in more creative solutions, and innovations that better meet the needs of women and promote gender equality.”

“Our lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with significant costs. 

“According to the UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report, women’s exclusion from the digital world has cut $1 trillion from the GDP of low and middle-income countries in the last decade - a loss that is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action.”

Reversing this trend will also require tackling the problem of online violence, which, according to a recent study of 51 countries, 38 per cent of women have personally experienced, Dewes said.

“A gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digital education can increase the awareness of women and girls regarding their rights and civic engagement,” she said.

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment is a priority focus for Aotearoa New Zealand’s development co-operation programme.”

Dewes said as one of their contributions, they were proud to have partnered with Nanogirl to create science content for an App under their “E-learning for Science” development activity

“This activity focuses on improving science learning for Year 10 students in the Pacific, including the Cook Islands.

“We wish everyone a happy International Women’s Day, and a more gender inclusive and equitable year ahead.”