Human Rights Day 2021 Webinar: Can a gendered approach to human rights challenges boost sustainable development?
The United Nations Association of New Zealand (UNA NZ) will mark the 73rd anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 6th anniversary of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development (the 17 SDGs) with a seminar entitled “SDG5: Can a gendered approach to human rights challenges boost sustainable development in general?”
This seminar will be an online event, held on Thursday, 9 December 2021, 5.30pm-7pm. We are delighted to announce the panel of excellent speakers who will be part of this celebration: Dr Karanina Sumeo, Human Rights Commissioner for Equal Employment Opportunities; Dr Gill Greer, former Chief Executive of the National Council of Women of New Zealand, and co-writer of the Civil Society SDG People's Report 2019; Dr Mike Ross, lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington, where he teaches courses on Māori language and customs, and Isabella van Hooff, Monitoring Agency Relationships Adviser at Department of Corrections National Office and intern of UNA NZ.
The President of the UNA NZ Gaya Paranisamy will chair and Special Officer for Human Rights Dulce Piacentini will moderate the seminar.
We know the Sustainable Development Goals are interrelated: when one improves, other SDGs will improve too as a consequence. With an SDG Alliance being formed in New Zealand with the participation of all different sectors of society – public, private, not-for-profit, academia, individuals and communities –, a critical debate on which SDGs may take a lead in boosting sustainable development turns out to be fundamental.
With this in mind, and considering that women and girls are frequently the most affected population when it comes to human rights challenges, we ask: Is the SDG5 – Gender Equality a goal with the power of making several other SDGs improve to a greater extent? Having a gendered perspective when formulating public policies to the numerous social challenges we currently face can improve sustainable development further? How can New Zealand benefit from adopting a gendered approach on its public policies?
Our Speakers will address the following topics:
- The power of the interconnection between SDGs and what can be better in the definition of SDG5
- How te ao Māori on the role of women can support sustainable development and gender equality in Aotearoa
- How women migrant workers can boost sustainable development in both their original and host countries.
Bios of speakers:
Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo is the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner at the New Zealand Human Rights Commission. She is of Samoan descent and a mother to three children. Saunoamaali'i has worked as a public advisor, consultant, and social worker, advocating for the rights and interests of children, youth, women, Rainbow, and Pacific communities. Saunoamaali'i holds qualifications in science, social work, and social policy including a PhD in public policy from AUT.
Dr Gill Greer co-edited “The People’s Report” on the SDGs in 2019, for HuiE!, as an alternate report. She is the former CE of the National Council of Women. She has held CE positions with Volunteer Service Abroad New Zealand, as Director General of IPPF (London) and CE of New Zealand Family Planning. A teacher originally, much of her work has been with community groups in New Zealand and internationally, with a focus on ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable individuals and communities, and in particular women, girls, and young people, LGBTQI+ and the disabled are heard, and all people have the opportunity to realise their full potential. This has involved service delivery and advocacy in many settings with the UN, governments, parliamentarians, and communities, bringing together coalitions of cross sectoral groups to achieve positive change. Gill was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to international health and women’s rights in 2012, and awarded an MNZM previously for her contribution to Family Planning and New Zealand Literature. As well as leadership of organisations and coalitions she has wide experience in governance and advisory roles, including with governments.
Dr Michael Ross (Ngāti Hauā) is a lecturer in Māori studies at Victoria University. Michael spent many years working with whānau and young people for Te Ora Hou before further study led to roles in education. These are connected by his ongoing interest in Māori community development.
Isabella is a recent graduate student of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science. As an Exchange Student, she completed the Spring and Fall semester (2020) at the University of Texas at Austin. Isabella has a primary interest in human rights including women’s rights, immigration policy and climate change. She has just finished a research internship at the United Nations Association of New Zealand focused on migrant women and gender inequality in Aotearoa.
About the United Nations Association of New Zealand
UNA NZ is a national community organisation, and a registered charity. It is made up of a number of regional branches, an independent youth association (UN Youth New Zealand) and affiliates across New Zealand. UNA NZ was founded shortly after the United Nations itself in 1945, and is formally associated with the UN Department of Public Information. We are a member of The World Federation of United Nations Associations (WFUNA), which provides links with United Nations Associations in other countries throughout the world.
UNA NZ members come from all areas and walks of life. What brings them together is a shared interest in the work of the United Nations and in trying to make the world a better place. UNA NZ is also affiliated with a number of organisations who are looking for synergies and collaboration. It is supported by the We the People’s Foundation to grow a capital base for the organisation.
Recent activities have covered a diverse range of topics: the UN Global Contract on Migration, Linear to Circular Economy, Sustainable Development Goals as a tool for the post COVID-19 economy, Family Violence in a time of Pandemic, International Day of UN Peacekeepers: Women in Peacekeeping, Youth activism around the world in achieving the 2030 Agenda. We also delivered a full day National Conference on Building Back Better after the pandemic, a reception to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, and the event ‘Code Red for Humanity’ - UNA NZ Webinar on the IPCC Report.
Our branches continue to foster scholarship and creative engagement in the work of the United Nations, and our network of enthusiastic members and interns is growing both in New Zealand and abroad.
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