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Welcome to the 2019 New Zealand Political Studies Association Annual Conference

"Security, Community, Humanity"

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Thursday, November 28 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Keynote Address - All women are equal, but some are more equal than others: The case of the Islamic Women's Council of New Zealand and the Christchurch terror attack

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In Aotearoa, women have participated in democracy and have been at the forefront of progress for some time. With this kaupapa, it is no wonder that Maori women have championed a lot of changes with issues of discrimination and equal rights for their own community.  From Jenny Shipley to Jacinda Ardern, women have been able to occupy the highest echelon of leadership of this country as well.  Looking at this, it is natural that female migrants, and especially women of colour, would also think that they could lead positive change for their own communities’ issues through articulation of their challenges and advocacy. It is with this mind-set that the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand, the national umbrella organisation for Muslim women, sought to address its concerns of racism, Islamophobia, discrimination within employment and education, misogyny and exclusion by reaching out to engage with New Zealand’s government and its public service. For more than five years prior to March 15, 2019, IWCNZ leadership actively and tenaciously sought assistance and lobbied the government engaging with a multitude of agencies, public sector executives and even Ministers under both the current and past governments. They shared their concerns about the risks their community faced. Despite having highly qualified advocates within its leadership, IWCNZ’s pleas and warnings went unheeded for the most part. It appeared that many with whom the IWCNZ team engaged could not get past the headscarves the women wore and quickly ignored and discounted these Muslim women. It was on this backdrop that the matriarchs of the New Zealand Muslim community would stand on March 15, 2019 and have to rise from, knowing they had warned the government, knowing their efforts to protect their community had not been enough, and knowing, if they were going to help their community, they would need the help of the same government that had ignored them and not listened. Aliya Danzeisen, as one of those women and as the person charged with government engagement portfolio for IWCNZ, will share the organisation’s experiences prior to, immediately after and ongoing since March 15, 2019. This is a story about democracy and the need for an informed, quality approach by government to ensure fair, equitable and quality treatment of all communities, especially those with identified risk factors.

avatar for Pascale Hatcher

Pascale Hatcher

University of Canterbury

avatar for Allyn

Allyn "Aliya" Danzeisen

Lead coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA) and Assistant National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand., Waikato Muslim Association
Allyn “Aliya” Danzeisen is the lead coordinator of the Women’s Organisation of the Waikato Muslim Association (WOWMA). For five years, she also served as the Assistant National Coordinator of the Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand (IWCNZ), a national umbrella organization... Read More →

Thursday November 28, 2019 9:00am - 10:30am NZDT
E9 Engineering Core