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Employers be valuable in domestic violence response

Press Release – National Council of Women of NZ

This International Womens Day, the National Council of Women of New Zealand is encouraging employers to take more action to progress gender equality and take a stand against domestic violence.03 March 2015

Employers can play valuable role in domestic violence response

This International Women’s Day, the National Council of Women of New Zealand is encouraging employers to take more action to progress gender equality and take a stand against domestic violence.

NCWNZ President Rae Duff says most employers are aware of the gender pay gap and underrepresentation of women at senior levels within the workplace but there is still a lot that needs to be done.

“Good employers already know the positive impact diversity has on their bottom line. They are acting to ensure employees are equally rewarded and sexism doesn’t exist in hiring and promotion practices. We see various high profile corporates leading the way as they invest in programmes working to achieve gender equality.

“There has also been a recent report showing that workplaces are ideal environments for raising awareness of and intervening in domestic violence. The New Zealand Violence Against Women study shows that one in three women in New Zealand experience intimate partner violence.

The New Zealand Family Violence Clearinghouse report says many victims of domestic violence are in paid employment. Staying in employment is particularly important for victims as it provides financial security and a way to escape from the relationship.”

The Clearinghouse says that employers can help by including provisions in employment agreements such as special paid leave for victims and flexible working arrangements. Workplaces may also partner with victim support agencies for referrals and in-house training so staff can identify and deal with violence.

“From an economic perspective, by better supporting victims of violence employers can avoid costs associated with absenteeism and lower productivity. More importantly, they can establish healthier and happier workplaces. But most of all, it is the right thing to do.

“The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, on March 8, is Make It Happen. We ask employers to do what they can to help make gender equality happen.”

ENDS

Visit www.ncwnz.org.nz to find out more about the National Council of Women.

For more information on International Women’s Day in New Zealand visit http://www.unwomen.org.nz/international-womens-day

To see research on domestic violence and the workplace visit https://nzfvc.org.nz/news/new-nzfvc-issues-paper-intimate-partner-violence-and-workplace

Employers interested in doing more to support women’s equality can visit http://www.unwomen.org/en/partnerships/businesses-and-foundations/womens-empowerment-principles

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