YWCA of Christchurch seeking Manager and Board Members

The YWCA Christchurch is a part of a national and global mission to empower and support women.

Christchurch offer emergency and transitional accommodation for women and women with children. They also offer a programme to the women who stay with us which involves mentoring, up skilling, sharing skills, tutoring and peer teaching. 

In addition, the Y Christchurch assist women in the following:

  • Assistance with applying to HNZ, CCC and private rental options to get long-term and permanent accommodation
  • On-site counselling
  • Common lounge for friends and Whanau visitors
  • Shared meals on special occasions 
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Manager, Full Time

Christchurch are looking for a highly flexible person to fill the role of Manager. The Management role is a full time position established to:

  • Work with the Board to manage all aspects of the YWCA Christchurch operations
  • Manage finances and administration
  • Seek funding and sponsorship for activities and programmes
  • Promote, network and advocate on behalf of the YWCA Christchurch
  • Ensure the daily running of the YWCA programs is effective and efficient

You can read the full job description and apply here:

Two Board Member Positions Available

Christchurch are also seeking two new board members with good skills in communication, strategic thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making and experience or strengths in any of the following areas:

  • Not-for-profit governance
  • Networking and advocacy
  • Legal
  • Social media
  • Strategy
  • Fundraising

This is an unpaid voluntary position, based from anywhere in Aotearoa. 

Read more about the board position or apply here

Outward Bound: Meet our Scholarship Recipients

The YWCA's purpose is to support individual and community change by empowering women, especially young women, to develop and exercise their individual and collective leadership through enhancing their spiritual, physical, mental, and cultural wellbeing. Our partnership with Outward Bound New Zealand is helping us to achieve this through our partnership scholarship.

In November last year, we launched our bi-annual Outward Bound scholarship (previously the programme was run by YWCA Hamilton) in which three young women between the ages of 18 and 26, are given access to a 2018 Outward Bound course at a greatly reduced cost. You can read more about our Outward Bound partnership and how it works here.

We are delighted to introduce our first three Scholarship recipients, Anna, Lara and Kellee, who will be experiencing this life changing course this year.

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Anna Connolly, 19

Aspiring teacher, Anna, originally hails from Otorohanga. She is now living in Hamilton studying for her Bachelor of Teaching degree at the University of Waikato.

Anna is looking forward to becoming a YWCA advocate and strong female role model through her teaching career.

"Outward Bound has always been a dream of mine. It excites me now that I'm finally turning this dream into a reality. I've always wanted to push myself, and get out there and be adventurous.

I'm incredibly fortunate that I've been given the opportunity to do Outward Bound. I enjoy being pushed out of my comfort zone and I believe it will shape the person I am and set me up with life long benefits and skills, both physically and mentally which is why I am so happy to receive the scholarship."

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Lara Hawker, 23

Wellington-born, Whanganui-raised Lara Hawker moved to Auckland to study special effects makeup. Graduating in 2015 as Student of The Year, Lara now runs a small business and freelances to film and television productions.

Lara has extensive volunteering experience and hopes to become a practising make-up artist with Look Good, Feel Better, to offer her skills to women fighting cancer. She also has plans to become a mentor for younger women entering the workforce, or starting their own business.

"I am incredibly happy and grateful to have been selected for the YWCA Outward Bound Scholarship. I chose to apply for the scholarship as going on Outward Bound was something I had always dreamed of doing as a teen, however due to financial circumstances at the time, I was unable to realise this.

I have always felt that I had l really missed the Outward Bound experience - the time to get know yourself and your own limits, while getting to know others and challenging yourself mentally, physically and emotionally. I am very, very excited to begin my OB journey -  I can't wait to get out of my comfort zone!"

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Kellee Henton, 25

Hamilton based Kellee Henton runs her own fitness business aimed towards inspiring and change the lives of women through health and fitness. She is a personal trainer and runs an activewear website, The Kellee Collective, aimed at women of all shapes and sizes.

Kellee has done a lot of charity work with her personal training business to raise money for The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, as well as working with young women to help overcome eating disorders.

"I am so privileged to be receiving the Outward Bound Scholarship from YWCA, an amazing organisation whose values sit close to my heart. Outward Bound has always been on my bucket list, mainly to prove to myself that I'm stronger than I think. I want to share my journey with you all, to prove that you really can achieve anything you set out to - it's mind over matter, and everyone is capable of it. Thank you so much YWCA, I plan to do you proud."

Outward Bound is a not-for-profit organisation, helping people reach their full potential through challenges in the outdoors. "The course gives you the focus and perspective to decide on your future direction. A perfect balance of adventure and reflection, you’ll take time to consider your personal values and work out what’s important. You’ll find a sense of belonging, with new connections and with a better understanding of yourself and your relationship to the wider world."

Our next round of Outward Bound scholarship applications will open in April 2018. 

We wish Anna, Lara and Kellee the best of luck for their Outward Bound adventures this year and we look forward to sharing their stories with you.

 

December 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

Kia ora koutou

Thank you for your support in making Aotearoa a better and more equal place for women. We wish you a restful and restorative holiday break and look forward to working with you in 2018.

Tēnā rawa atu koe.

 

 

Auckland YWCA Future Leaders Programme

Last Monday saw 20 young women graduate from YWCA Auckland's Future Leaders programme. They are currently seeking new mentors to join this wonderful programme and help young women have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

 

Christmas at the Y

Christchurch YWCA and Hamilton YWCA are looking for kind donations from members of the community to make Christmas feel like Christmas for local women in need.

 

An Intergenerational Women's Movement

The YWCA Aotearoa NZ is a national association of women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. In 2017, the simple founding principle has never been more relevant and powerful.

 

Resources


Opportunities


Events


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Liv Doogue
Executive Officer
YWCA of Aotearoa NZ

liv@ywca.org.nz

Auckland YWCA Future Leaders Programme

THE 2017 Future Leader of the Year - Te Po Masina

THE 2017 Future Leader of the Year - Te Po Masina

Future Leaders Graduation Night

Last Monday saw 20 young women graduate from YWCA Auckland's Future Leaders programme. 

Graduation is always an emotional event as we bid farewell and good luck to these girls who have been a vital part of the YWCA Auckland family for four years and we have seen them blossom into confident, resilient young women and postive role models in their communities.

Te Po Masina from Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate won the coveted “Future Leader of the Year” award for her committment and outstanding leadership attributes. In her emotional and humble speech she congratulated all her “sisters” graduating from the programme and declared: “Always remember: We are all leaders. Know your voice. Use your voice”.

- Anna Beard, YWCA Auckland

 
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New Mentors Needed

Auckland YWCA are seeking new mentors to join this wonderful programme and help more young women like Te Po have the opportunity to reach their full potential. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to know more about the Future Leaders Programme, read more at the Auckland YWCA website, or email futureleaders@akywca.org.nz.

Christmas At The Y

Christchurch YWCA Christmas Gifts Needed

Christmas at the YWCA

The YWCA Christchurch offer emergency and transitional accommodation for women and women with children. Christmas time can be a particularly busy time of the year for the Christchurch Y's emergency accommodation unit. 

To create a fun and festive Christmas for the guests, the Christchurch YWCA provide food and presents for the women and children staying with them. This year they need help from the community to donate gifts to an expected 16 Women and 16 Children of varying ages.

If you would like to help make Christmas feel like Christmas for the women and children staying at the Christchurch Y, you can send a gift (or two) to:

YWCA Christchurch
285 Hereford Street
Christchurch 8011


Hamilton YWCA & Women's Refuge Food Drive

YWCA Hamilton Food Drive

In preparation of Christmas, the YWCA of Hamilton are running a food drive to help support the Waikato Women’s Refuge over the holiday season. Non-perishables such as canned food (including meats, fish, soup, beans etc), dry pasta/ rice, cereal, muesli bars, peanut butter, juice boxes, and other Christmas treats, are all welcome. 

The Hamilton Y are open Monday-Friday until the 20th of December for donations, which can to be delivered or dropped off at:

YWCA Hamilton
28 Pembroke Street
Hamilton 3204

An Intergenerational Women's Movement

It takes many generations to change an attitude.

 
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No need to kid ourselves. When it comes to 100% opportunity for young women, there is still a long way to go. It will take the energy, ideas and commitment of women of all ages and beliefs to make the change we want.

The YWCA began in London in 1855. Two determined women on a mission proposed a simple idea. Women would create opportunities for other women: they would stand beside the young to improve their opportunities and shape a better future.

The movement quickly took root around the world. You are reading this today because women in Dunedin, back in 1877, also thought ‘women + young women’ was a good idea! Now YWCA Aotearoa NZ is a national association of women of all ages, backgrounds and beliefs. In 2017, the simple founding principle has never been more relevant and powerful.

Image credit: Womens March NZ

Image credit: Womens March NZ

During the international day of protest earlier this year, women walked together, demanding the right to a gender equal future. Cities in Aotearoa and around the world, rocked with the power of women and their determined voices. They were young and old, advantaged and not. They wore pussy hats and sun hats, hijabs and piercings. Many had started as teenagers back in the 1960s and would never have imagined that six decades later, they would still need to be marching. But here they were: this time walking beside their daughters and granddaughters and young colleagues.

From mini-skirts to walking frames, the mission and the determination is still the same. Women want the same thing for all women. Gender equality and all the fairness, opportunity and possibility that goes with it. It takes many generations to change an attitude.

Excerpt from our 2017 Annual Report.

November 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

 

The Equal Pay Awards 2017

The Auckland YWCA's fourth annual Equal Pay Awards went off without a hitch, and drew in the biggest crowd to date.

Beverage company Lion and the Human Resources Director of law firm Simpson Grierson, Jo Copeland, emerged as the 2017 Gold winners. 

The Silver winner was engineering company AECOM, and International tourism firm Magic Memories claimed the Bronze category award.

Read more.

   

 

 

YWCA Branded Cards and Reusable Coffee Cups

Do you want to support the YWCA movement to empower young women in Aotearoa New Zealand? Purchase YWCA greeting card sets and reusable coffee mugs! They make great gifts for Christmas. 

The design represents generations of strong women, layers of one's self, and stages of life.

Read more.

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YWCA Aotearoa New Board Members


The YWCA Whānau are lucky to have four amazing new women join the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand governance board.

Read more.

 

 

Resources


Opportunities


Events

Welcome our New YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand Board Members

We are so lucky here at the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand to have a diverse range of talented and dynamic women on our national board. We are excited to welcome four new amazing women, each with their own unique and impressive background, to the National YWCA whānau. 

NIAMH O'FLYNN, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

NIAMH O'FLYNN, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

Niamh O'Flynn

Niamh has been involved in community leadership and organising in Aotearoa since 2009, with an active focus on campaigning, strategic development, and volunteer management.

She is passionate about climate change, women’s issues, and social justice, and in particular, where the three issues meet. Since 2015 she has been based in Auckland as the Executive Director of 350 Aotearoa.

"Working with a feminist organisation that empowers and enhances the lives of young women in Aotearoa has been something I've been excited to do for many years. I'm so delighted to join the wonderful women of board of the YWCA to get cracking!"

 

Te Aue Addison-whare, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

Te Aue Addison-whare, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

Te Aue Addison-Te Whare

Te Aue has held various roles working across the public sector, including in Treaty settlements, environment and local government policy and strategy.

She has been involved in various volunteer women’s collectives throughout university and her early working life and is keen to continue her contribution to advancing women’s rights and interests. She brings skills and experience that can help support and shape the vision for YWCA, particularly in strategic thinking and building creativity and fun into programme design and delivery.

While Te Aue is new to the NGO sector she has been seeking opportunities that foster collective thinking and passion to empower others and affect action in the community. She believes that the YWCA is a platform for change to advance the collective aspirations of women and gender equality.

Te Aue is excited to start her YWCA journey and will bring an enthusiastic rangatahi, wahine Māori and environmentalist perspective to the YWCA governance table.

"I'm really looking forward to starting my journey with the YWCA as the organisation is kaupapa-driven in efforts to empower women.  Bring on the opportunity to collaborative with other passionate women to advance our collective aspirations for Aotearoa"

 

SOPHIE THOREAU, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

SOPHIE THOREAU, YWCA AOTEAROA NZBOARD MEMBER

Sophie Thoreau

Sophie is a lawyer with considerable experience in intellectual property and commercial law.  

She is a strong advocate for women reaching their potential and more.  She would like to use her skills to empower women and to assist the YWCA movement as a whole.  

As a mother of three young children including two young daughters, the future of New Zealand’s young people is important to Sophie and she is passionate about being a part of a movement that seeks to proactively support young women in a rapidly changing landscape.

“The YWCA is at a pivotal point of change and I look forward to being part of a movement that seeks to uplift our young people and has women’s independence and equality as a key focus.  The YWCA is a on journey of which I am thrilled to be a part.”

 

RACHEL SOUTHEE, YWCA AOTEAROA NZ TREASURER

RACHEL SOUTHEE, YWCA AOTEAROA NZ TREASURER

Rachel Southee

Our new Board Treasurer, Rachel Southee, has recently completed a long bout of university study at both Massey University and the University of Waikato, and now working as an accountant in Wellington. During this time she has worked in various industries including environmental engineering, research, and management consulting. Rachel also founded a new branch of a Wellington high-school tutoring company in Hamilton which is thriving to this day.

Since early this year, Rachel has been an active board member for the YWCA of Hamilton and involved in the Finance Sub-Committee.

Rachel believes that it is imperative that we all actively challenge gender perceptions and to also raise awareness in order to create a change in our communities. 

"My experience with the YWCA of Hamilton inspired me to get involved with YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand. I am excited to continue with such an organisation that empowers the young women of New Zealand to continue to push the boundaries of what women can do and succeed in, so that every young women can have equal opportunity to fulfill her potential."

 

Welcome aboard Niamh, Te Aue, Sophie and Rachel. We look forward to working with you all to make the YWCA Aotearoa New Zealand stronger together. 

The Equal Pay Awards 2017

Minister Genter (MIDDLE) is pictured with auCKLAND YWCA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MONICA BRIGGS (LEFT); and EY's Susan Doughty. 

Minister Genter (MIDDLE) is pictured with auCKLAND YWCA CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MONICA BRIGGS (LEFT); and EY's Susan Doughty. 

The Auckland YWCA's fourth annual Equal Pay Awards went off without a hitch, and drew in the biggest crowd to date.

Beverage company Lion and the Human Resources Director of law firm Simpson Grierson, Jo Copeland, emerged as the 2017 Gold winners. 

Auckland YWCA CEO and awards judge, Monica Briggs, said that the high calibre of entries in the Gold category made it impossible for the judges to pick just one winner. "We were very impressed with the level of internal communication, the desire to innovate and the visibility of Lion's CEO as an advocate for equal pay. Likewise, the personal commitment and drive shown by Jo Copeland at Simpson Grierson distinguishes her as a passionate campaigner for equal pay," 

The Silver winner was engineering company AECOM, who impressed the judges with their hiring policy of starting all new graduates on the same starting salary, and its strategic focus of encouraging more women into the industry.

International tourism firm Magic Memories claimed the Bronze category for their commitment to addressing equal pay in a short space of time.

Among the guest speakers on the night was the new Minister for Women, Julie Anne Genter. “Employers honoured tonight are leading the way for all New Zealand employers who want to close the gender pay gap. We can all learn from their example and reap the benefits for people and business.”

See more at the NZ Equal Pay awards Facebook page. 

YWCA Coffee Mugs and Card Sets

Do you want to support the YWCA movement to empower young women in Aotearoa New Zealand? Purchase YWCA greeting card sets and reusable coffee mugs! They make great gifts for Christmas. 

The design represents generations of strong women, layers of one's self, and stages of life.

 
 
YWCA Greeting Cards
10.00

Set of six cards with envelopes.

 

October 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

Outward Bound Scholarship, Suffrage Day Success, & New Executive Officer 

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YWCA Outward Bound Scholarship

An amazing opportunity for exceptional young women attend a life-changing 21-day course at greatly reduced cost. Applications open now until 31 Oct.

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Kate Would Be Proud

We put out the call to vote on Suffrage Day to recognise 124 years of women voting, and people really responded! Thanks to all who participated.

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New YWCA Executive Officer

Welcome, Liv Doogue! As our current Executive Officer Alanna Irving goes on parental leave, Liv brings a range of skills to our movement.

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Spotlight: YWCA Hamilton

Since 2000, the Hamilton YWCA has offered valuable scholarships to women under 30. Manager Anne Bennett says, "To achieve change, we need women with influence and education." Read more.

Resources

Opportunities

Events

Welcome to New YWCA Executive Officer

The YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand is excited to welcome Liv Doogue, as our current Executive Officer Alanna Irving goes on parental leave.

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Liv brings a diverse range of skills from her experiences as a digital marketing manager, founder of an ethical fashion website, and general manager of a fair trade coffee business.

"While this will be my first experience working in the NGO sector, I have always had a strong sense of social justice and have been lucky to work for some amazing values-lead businesses in the past."

"I am passionate about women’s rights and gender equality, and particularly interested in economic independence as a tool for change and empowerment. I am so excited to be joining the YWCA to be a part of the wonderful work they are doing here in Aotearoa."

YWCA Co-President Susan Doughty explains why now is the perfect time for Liv to bring fresh energy and ideas.

"The YWCA Aotearoa is at a turning point of achieving some real change. We have Alanna to thank for getting us on track and setting us up for a great future. As Alanna embarks on her new adventure with baby in tow, we welcome the very capable Liv on board to continue the journey."

"Liv has a wealth of experience that will be of great value not only to our national movement, but all of our local member associations. I am excited by the steps we are taking, and believe that Liv will be a great support in helping us achieve our collective objectives." 

"Welcome aboard Liv, and thank you Alanna! You are both very special ladies."
 

Spotlight: YWCA Hamilton

Since 2000, the Hamilton YWCA has offered valuable scholarships to women under 30.

Words by Anne Bennett — Manager, YWCA Hamilton

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We were the first YWCA in New Zealand to offer tertiary scholarships. It was back in 2000 – we were in a Board meeting and about to commit around $2000 to repairing some windows in the hostel. Suddenly, the fundraiser on our Board said, ‘We can always get funding for the windows. Let’s spend it on something new for young women instead.’

Outside my office is our Presidents’ photo wall. I love looking at the pictures of those young women scholarship recipients who have continued on to become YWCA of Hamilton Board Presidents. They come from very different backgrounds and family situations. I’m so proud of the lives they’re creating for themselves, and the way they inspire and support other young women around them. They’ve not only continued their studies, right up to doctorate level but many voluntarily stay on the board after their scholarship year ends.

Young women learn governance and leadership with us and that means they’re on their way to getting paid directorships earlier and accruing influence. They’re seizing opportunity earlier. We’re saying, ‘No need to wait until you’re 40. Start early, do more.’ To achieve change, we need women with influence and education. And we need to have someone leading the way. Then we can say, ‘Well, she can do it, so can I.’

Read more stories from YWCAs across New Zealand in our 2017 Annual Report.

#Suffrage2017 - Kate Would Be Proud!

YWCA put out the call to vote on Suffrage Day and recognise 124 years of women voting in NZ, and people around the country responded. Kate would be proud!

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Good vibes at the marae 💚 #Suffrage2017 #earlyvote #ffs #HaurakiWaikato

A post shared by Jamie Mariu (@jamiemariu) on

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September 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

Vote tomorrow for #Suffrage2017, report released, and we're hiring!

Join the YWCA #SUFFRAGE2017 Campaign

What better way to recognise suffrage than voting?

Tomorrow, 19 September, join us in acknowledging 124 years of women's suffrage in Aotearoa New Zealand by early voting. Share a selfie on social media tagged #Suffrage2017 to celebrate making our voices heard together around the country.

 

Released: HerStory in 2017 Report

What do young women in Aotearoa New Zealand today really care about? What challenges and opportunities do they face? What does leadership mean to them? We did research to find out. A report that listens to the voices of young women, to understand the needs of young women in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

 

Recruiting: Executive Officer

Our current EO, Alanna, is going on parental leave. We seek a passionate, skilled, and highly motivated individual to assist with our work nationally. Could it be you or someone you know? Applications close 29 Sept.
 

 

Resources

Opportunities

Events

HerStory in 2017 Report: Voices of Young Women Today

A report that listens to the voices of young women, to understand the needs of young women in Aotearoa New Zealand today.

Prepared by researcher Rara Sekar Larasati
Visual design by Lisa Couldrey
Commissioned by YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand

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Many things have happened since 1995 when the last Status of Women report was produced by YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand. We hope that the release of the HerStory in 2017 report may serve as a much-needed space for young women to voice their lived experiences in Aotearoa today.

We also hope that this report will help us, and many other organisations who work in the field of youth development and young women's leadership, to evaluate our work, have further discussions, and  ultimately better meet the needs of young women.

The HerStory 2017 report also responds to a gap in research in Aotearoa, which often generalises the voices of young women between the age of 15 and 30. We believe that young women in different age groups face different challenges and opportunities. This report presents some of these nuances in the experiences of young women.

Results from this survey provide valuable insights into the individual and collective challenges and opportunities facing young women in Aotearoa. Findings indicate differences based on age group in terms of knowledge of existing programmes available, the level of interest in the type of activities, understandings of what leadership really means to them, and economic, social, and cultural influences on leadership development.

Celebrate Suffrage Day — Vote on 19 September!

19 September 2017 marks 124 years since Aotearoa New Zealand became the first country in the world in which all women gained the right to vote in general elections.

What better way to recognise suffrage day than voting?

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Suffrage isn't just something that happened in history. It's very relevant to us as citizens today! This year, New Zealand is holding a national election on 23 Septemberperfect timing to vote early on 19 September.

“Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.”

Kate Sheppard was New Zealand’s best-known suffragist. She was at the forefront of the campaign resulting in the signing of the suffrage petition and the passing of the Electoral Act on 19 September, 1893.

We believe women's voices should shape the future of our country. So make yours heard!

YWCA #SUFFRAGE2017 Campaign

Women Vote 100%

Celebrate Suffrage Day

Early Vote on 19 September

 

How do I early vote?

You can vote at any advance voting place. You can also enrol, check or update your details at the same time.

Voting place locations will be available on the Electoral Commission website from 30 Aug.

Spread the Word

Tell your friends! We'll be sharing the campaign on our Twitter and Facebook, so re-share and re-tweet. Hashtag #SUFFRAGE2017

On 19 Sept, take your friends with you to vote! We'd love to see your selfies, so please share them with us by social media or email info@ywca.org.nz.

Grab one of these flyers to print out or share online. Or download all three.
Big thanks to Zeta from YWCA Hamilton for the designs!

Not sure who to vote for?

It's 100% your choice! But sometimes all the options can feel a bit overwhelming. Here are some cool tools to help you decide. 

On The Fence is a user-friendly quiz to help you find out which party you align with. It provides information about the parties and their values, explains what the Government does, and raises awareness of the election in general.

Policy draws on publicly available information about the key election policies of New Zealand’s political parties, puts them all in one place and presents them in a consistent and accessible way. 

Vote Compass is a tool developed by political scientists that calculates how your political views compare with the public policy positions of parties in New Zealand.

August 2017 YWCA National Newsletter

We're Seeking New Board Members!

The YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand is seeking new non-executive board members, including a treasurer, for the national board. If you have governance skills and a passion for empowering young women, we want to hear from you!

 
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President's Message to Political Parties

We believe that public opinion and awareness of gender equality issues in New Zealand is at a pivotal tipping point. 

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"There is More In You"

Jahvaya Wheki and Annie Oxborrow participated in Outward Bound through YWCA Hamilton's scholarship programme in April 2017, and had a life changing experience.

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Spotlight: YWCA Christchurch


Christchurch YWCA provides emergency and transitional housing to women and children in a property owned by the Christchurch City Council. 

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Report: World YWCA board meeting

New General Secretary, new strategic priorities, and a new affiliation fee formula.


Resources

Opportunities

  • Weigh in on Research New Zealand's Gender Attitude Survey

Link removed because the survey is intended only for NCWNZ members.

Events

 

President's Message to Political Parties

An open letter to our political parties ahead of the upcoming election.

I am writing on behalf of the YWCA of Aotearoa New Zealand movement, representing YWCA Associations around the country, to wish you well in the upcoming elections. As a movement that works alongside women to achieve ‘100% potential’, we are passionate advocates for further changes to improve women’s equality across Aotearoa New Zealand.

We believe that public opinion and awareness of gender equality issues in New Zealand is at a pivotal tipping point as a result of increased media coverage, legislative changes and global issues and trends. Any new government formed after the general election needs to provide strong leadership and demonstrate a fully inclusive approach to diversity to enable all citizens to contribute in a full and meaningful way to New Zealand society.

At the YWCA, we are driven to provide women the opportunity to realise a better future. This requires an inclusive working approach of partnering with individuals, communities, whānau and agencies to make an equal playing field a reality.

We want to see the following actions from a new government:

  • Parental leave extended to 26 paid weeks.

  • The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill enacted in a way that enables women to be able to mount claims without an arduous and expensive process; the use of appropriate comparators based on skills and/or roles and from appropriate industries so discriminatory patterns are not perpetuated; and an independent body to have oversight, resources, and decision making abilities as to whether claims will proceed or not, and not extinguish existing legal rights for women.

  • More resources made available for developing innovative approaches to keeping women safe in both a physical and virtual sense.

  • De-criminalising abortion as we believe that every woman deserves choice.

The YWCA has provided vital guidance to the Ministry for Women over the past four years. We launched the Equal Pay Awards in 2014 to recognise companies that address the gender pay gap in their workplace and to encourage other businesses to start the process. I would be delighted to talk to you personally about this initiative and encourage you to get in touch if you would like more information or to attend the Equal Pay Awards presentation in Auckland on 9 November.

Ngā mihi / Kind regards

Susan Doughty
Co-president, YWCA of Aotearoa NZ
President, YWCA Auckland

"There is more in you" - Thank you, Outward Bound!

Jahvaya Wheki and Annie Oxborrow participated in Outward Bound through YWCA Hamilton's scholarship programme in April 2017, and had a life changing experience.


Throughout our time at Outward Bound we faced many challenges that helped us to learn and develop as people. We have both grown so much and are so grateful for this lifetime opportunity. We would just like to say thank you, and share what this has meant for us.

"There is more in you"

- Kurt Hanh

Jahvaya Wheki

I found Outward Bound both physically and mentally challenging. Through the tough times I found myself looking around reminding myself that I’m in the same boat as everyone else and I’m not the only one that is having a difficult, challenging time. We all are. I didn’t know what to expect, but always reminding yourself that you’re not alone is really comforting.

Because of this amazing life changing opportunity, I believe that I am more resilient, independent and thankful. Attending Outward Bound has made me appreciate the small things in life, such as dry clothes, warm food and sunshine, for this I am forever grateful.

Thank you so much YWCA for this extraordinary scholarship. The YWCA has changed my life in many ways because providing young women with the opportunity to face their fears, challenge themselves and further grow into great young leaders by attending this Outward Bound course. I hope that I can encourage many more young ladies to attend Outward Bound because it is very beneficial and life changing.

From the bottom of my heart thank you for this opportunity, I have not only made friends but I now have sisters by my side.

Annie Oxborrow

Thank you for enabling me to attend Outward Bound. It allowed me to experience the highs and lows of working with people all day, every day for 21 days. I maybe didn’t always get along with them, but needed to in order to get activities done. Activities such as tramping mentally challenged me, as not everyone is at the same ability so as a group we needed to decide a strategy to get us to our destination that was achievable by everyone. The idea of just getting “stuff done” played a lot on my mind, especially as procrastinating didn’t work at Outward Bound.

There were also many highs to the experience such as doing kayaking, walking the Queen Charlotte, proper rock climbing and more, which I had never done before. So I thank you for that. Lastly the friends I gained from Outward Bound are people that went through the highs and lows with me and learnt more about me in the short space of time we were together than the friends I have had for many years. Those ladies I will forever be great friends with. Thank you for opening up my eyes to what is truly important in life and what is a bit pointless to dwell on.