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Women add colour and spice to meeting

Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins will be among the most prominent advocates of empowering women at a Conference scheduled to be held in Auckland next month.

Human Rights Commissioner Susan Devoy, former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley and AUT University Business & Law School Professor of Diversity Edwina Pio will be among the other speakers.

Organised by the Women’s Group of the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA) at Ellerslie Events Centre, the one-day Conference will be held on February 15 under the theme, ‘Colour & Spice,’ reflecting the rich, vibrant and diverse Indian culture and heritage.

Human Code

The Group’s Chairperson Ranjna Patel said that the panel sessions will comprise people who are married into other cultures and faiths including Samoan, European, Indian, Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

“Research has shown that human beings have a lot in common. We all live by the some code. Analysis has shown that 80% of people live by their religious beliefs or moral values. Disharmony is usually caused by the remaining 20%,” she said.

The forthcoming conference will examine Indian culture and heritage, including its preservation and promotion, Mrs Patel said.

While there are no simple solutions, the more we acknowledge the issue and discuss it, the more we will be able to understand the intricacies of relations and beauty of nurturing those relations, she added.

“We will try to understand relations, cultural features, heritage and how these become full of colour and spice from emotional, spiritual, factual and psychological perspectives.

“The NZICA Annual Women’s Conference is an opportunity to share our beliefs and values and enable us to be a part of more tolerant and happier communities,” Mrs Patel said.

Mixed fortunes

Describing 2013 as a ‘Year of challenges and rewards; and pain and happiness, she hoped that the New Year would bring more rewards and happiness than challenges and pain.

“New Zealand marked the 120th anniversary of women’s suffrage, being the first country in the world to grant voting right to women. We have some amazing women in the Army, Navy, media, business and mostly in all the community volunteer work. The amount of volunteer time that we as women give to the community at schools, associations, places of worship and sports is substantial,” she said.

She reiterated the call given by Ms Collins last year for more women of Indian origin to seek positions in Government boards and committees (Indian Newslink, April 15, 2013).

She said that she has been encouraging our women to file their nominations over the past two years.

Details of the Registration fee for the Conference are as follows:

On or before January 20: Members $45; Non-Members $50 per person

After January 20: Members $50 and Non-Members $55 per person

Conference Dinner: Members $45 and Non-Members $50 per person

Further details can be obtained from ranjna@ethc.co.nz

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