Angela Meyer, our Member, was a key player in shaping the next and far more equitable approach to women’s health in New Zealand — and we’re thrilled to join in a kōrero to explore what’s next for this shift in women’s healthcare legislation.
This comes as a specific Women’s Health Strategy has officially been promised by the government in the newly-announced Pae Ora legislation. To make this happen, Angela Meyer’s advocacy group, Gender Justice Collective, presented a 2873-strong signed petition in April 2021, imploring the government to rework the approach to women’s health in these reforms.
“Women, trans, inter-sex and non-binary people are slipping through the cracks because there is no overarching system for create solutions to meet their needs,” Angela Meyer shared with NZHerlad.co.nz.
“It has been a huge collaborative effort across the health sector and women’s groups to ensure that the voices and needs of 52% of the population have been heard” — Angela Meyer.
Now that the Women’s Health Strategy is promised, what’s next for the Gender Justice Collective’s involvement? Angela shares that the collective “will continue to advocate to ensure that the necessary resources and budget are allocated for this work and if required help with the inquiry and development of the strategy.”
What are you most proud of in getting this result? It has been a huge collaborative effort across the health sector and women’s groups to ensure that the voices and needs of 52% of the population have been heard and actioned by our government. It has been a lot of mahi; 2 oral submissions, 2 written submissions to the health select committee, 1 OIA, meet with 4 members of Parliament, wrote 100’s of emails and shared the stories of 100’s of women, plus a survey and report and hours of zoom meetings and a social media and media campaign — all of this has been done voluntarily. That said, it has been an enormous privilege to lead this work.
As for the advice Angela would give to fellow women wanting to petition the government to make changes happen? Be prepared to be in it for the long haul!
We’re proud to see our members’ involvement in getting women’s health on the right track in Aotearoa. This comes as Global Women member Fepulea’i Margie Apa and 2021 Breakthrough Leaders participant, Riana Manuel, were respectively named as the Chief Executives of the Health New Zealand and Māori Health Authority interim entities. We look forward to seeing how these wāhine in our fold use their mahi, wisdom and influence to make the necessary changes needed for the women of Āotearoa.