Impact is happening across the globe. Entrepreneurs in our network are building better businesses for a better future. 

Enjoy the stories of our impact entrepreneurs, learn more about our entrepreneurial support offering, check out our latest insights on the sector and learn more about what’s happening at Impact Hub Waikato.


Gender Equality as a Catalyst for Change: Reflections from our International Women's Day event

Gender equality is a fundamental human right - and one that holds the key to unlocking the full potential of individuals, communities, and societies.

Each year, International Women's Day represents an opportunity for us all to take action, dismantle barriers, challenge biases, and create gender-equal environments where everyone can thrive.

In the lead-up to this year's International Women's Day, Impact Hub Waikato was thrilled to join forces with the YWCA of Hamilton, to host an interactive event, exploring gender equality, and its role as a catalyst for positive change.

Alongside Elina Ashimbayeva, Pieta Bouma, Rachel Afeaki, and Emma Sinclair, with Jahvaya Wheki as MC, we delved into the intersectionality of gender equality and sustainable development - looking into how we can positively impact multiple Sustainable Development Goals, by empowering women.

So, what were our key takeaways?

Empowering Through Unity

Panellist Pieta set a powerful tone with her resonating words: "empowered women empower women".

This is a poignant reminder that we must promote solidarity over competition, and foster a supportive ecosystem where women uplift each other.

Pieta's call to use our voices not only for personal empowerment, but also to amplify the voices of others, speaks volumes about the collective strength inherent in unity.

She also reminded us of the nuanced nature of masculinity - reminding us that not all expressions of masculinity are toxic, and we must challenge this stereotype.

By dismantling patriarchal norms and embracing inclusivity, Pieta advocates for a cultural shift that benefits all genders.

This was echoed by the panel - who reminded us that feminism is a movement inclusive of all genders, with a collective responsibility to challenge norms and create equitable spaces.

Shared Responsibility for Change

Emma reminded us of the need to redistribute the burden of systemic change.

Placing the onus solely on women is ineffective - meaningful change requires collective effort and accountability.

Whether through community organising, advocacy campaigns, or grassroots initiatives, collective action enables us to amplify our voices and exert pressure on decision-makers to prioritise gender equality. By mobilising diverse stakeholders and building alliances, we can catalyse systemic change and advance the cause of gender equality on a broader scale.

Plus, her analogy of "saving a seat for Mother Earth" underscores the interconnectedness of social and environmental justice, and urges us to align our actions with the planet's needs.

Recognition and Representation

Rachel reflected on women's visibility in the media, and shed light on the importance of representation. While progress has been made, there's still a long way to go in ensuring diverse narratives are heard and celebrated.

Embracing Diversity and Inclusion

The importance of diversity was drawn upon frequently throughout the panel discussion - reminding us of the need for intersectional approaches to gender equality that recognise and address the unique challenges faced by different groups. 

By embracing diversity and fostering inclusion, we can ensure that gender equality efforts are truly equitable and representative of all individuals, regardless of race, ethnicity, or background.

Empowering Through Privilege

Privilege can also be used as a tool for change. We can all recognise our own privilege - and then leverage it to support marginalised communities and advocate for gender equality.

This is a reminder of the importance of allyship, as well as the responsibility for individuals with privilege to actively challenge systems of oppression and work towards creating more equitable societies. 

Conclusion: Towards a Future of Equality

The journey toward gender equality is naturally a multifaceted one, that requires not only reflection, but also action - both individually and collectively.

By amplifying diverse voices, challenging stereotypes, and fostering inclusivity, we can pave the way for a future where empowered women truly empower women.

The parting question of the event, that we'll also leave here now: "what actions can I take now, today, this week, not just in the future?"


This product has been added to your cart