Ardern: Leadership roles does not portray stories within societies

Fijian women parliamentarians with the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the women leaders' lunch at the New Zealand High Commissioner's residence in Suva. Picture: SUPPLIED/FACEBOOK

SUCCESS stories of women in leadership roles do not paint a complete picture because there are women who continue to experience violence in our society.

This was the sentiment shared by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern while speaking at a women leaders’ lunch at the New Zealand High Commissioner’s residence in Suva yesterday.

A group of women leaders from the private and public sector were invited for lunch at the residence and were given the opportunity to openly speak about issues affecting women in Fiji.

PM Ardern said women have held leadership roles such as the Chief Justice, Governor General and Speaker of Parliament in New Zealand.

However, she said that did not portray stories within societies where women continued to be victims of inequality and violence.

“The issue of women who experience violence in our society, we can’t let that tell a complete story,” she said.

“But that tells the story why we need women in politics.

“We have other issues to address but we wish to address them alongside other women in leadership, so I feel a sense of responsibility to help promote women in politics.”

Ms Ardern said there were still a lot needed to be done to address women’s issues in New Zealand.

“We ourselves are working very openly to tackle issues on gender violence, in particular, domestic and intimate partner violence against children and equality, pay issues of economic sovereignty for women.

“So in my view, as long as we have those differences in our society, we must always be champions for women, domestically and internationally.”

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