A woman’s place in New Zealand

The day Prime Minister Helen Clark was berated and humiliated at Waitangi for daring to speak on the marae should have been the day all iwi resolved to reassess the rules subordinating women on marae and in wharenui.

It should have been considered urgent. Perhaps the indignity of that day was generally dismissed as mere farce, since Waitangi had by then become such a pressure-cooker pantomime and Clark’s tormenter was Titewhai Harawira, who is not widely respected.

But the practice of silencing women and relegating them to a secondary role, which pervades other marae including that at Parliament, was and remains deeply offensive to most New Zealanders.

It has taken years of further routine humiliation of women at powhiri, hui and the like, most of it unreported, for someone in a position of leadership to cry enough. Continue reading.

Source: The Listener

Image: NICVA

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News category: Analysis and Comment.

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