Me aro ki te hā o Hine-ahu-one – Pay heed to the mana of women.
It is timely to remember this whakataukī on this, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
The right to be safe from violence is a fundamental right, affirmed in the international human rights standards. These include the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which also emphasises the right to participate and have a say in any programmes or initiatives to address these issues.
The day is marked with White Ribbon Day, a global campaign led by men who condemn violence against women and want to take action.
It is a day to focus on both Mana Wahine and Mana Tāne, and the importance of equality, balance and respectful relationships between and amongst men and women. Sadly, violence against women remains one of New Zealand’s most pressing human rights issues, with one in three New Zealand women having experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of a partner at some time in their lives.
At the same time, it is a day to focus on the positive role of men in preventing violence; when men can step up and take a stand against violence, and we can highlight some of the role models who are demonstrating their commitment to caring and respectful relationships that are based on mana, manaaki and aroha. White Ribbon resources also provide helpful information to help with identifying positive and unacceptable behaviours, as well as taking action and supporting others.
It is a chance to highlight the role models we have in our communities and whānau.
Events like the White Ribbon Awards, held in Auckland on Monday, recognise and celebrate the efforts of individuals, organisations and communities to eliminating violence.