Women off to UN commission

Sue Bidrose
Sue Bidrose.
Six Dunedin women, including Dunedin City Council chief executive Sue Bidrose, are part of a 12-strong national delegation bound for the United Nations headquarters in New York next week.

The women are part of the Presbyterian Women Aotearoa New Zealand (PWANZ) delegation attending the 61st session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, from March 13 to 24.

Thousands of government and NGO representatives from around the world will attend the annual commission, the

global body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It monitors and reviews progress in the implementation of various global agreements.

The PWANZ delegation is the only New Zealand  faith-based non-government organisation with special consultative status attending. Members are entitled to speak in forums and  debates and participate in decision-making and negotiations.

This year’s themes focus on women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work, challenges and achievements in the implementation of the "millennium development goals" for women and girls, and the empowerment of indigenous women.

Dunedin Presbyterian minister the Rev Carol Grant is leading the PWANZ delegation.

The  cost of Dr Bidrose’s trip — about $4400 — will be covered by the council’s budget for her to attend international conferences.

The official New Zealand Government delegation will be led by Rangitata MP Jo Goodhew on behalf of Women’s Minister Paula Bennett.

Otago Daily Times editorial executive Helen Speirs will also attend the commission as part of the PWANZ delegation, at its invitation.

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