International Working Women’s Day.

By Bronwyn Larkins, Te Pou Whirinaki | National Women’s Officer

Te Hautū Kahurangi | Tertiary Education Union wāhine and allies celebrated International Working Women’s Day events across Universities and Te Pūkenga sites last week.

From breakfast gatherings to the comforting clink of cups of tea, TEU wāhine convened, weaving our shared tapestry of unity as we shared stories, strategies, and aspirations, igniting our fight for change for 2024 and beyond.

We use this day to celebrate our wins. The jobs we have saved, the salary and conditions we fought for, the members we supported, the events that were held. The Branches working to support wāhine and create safe spaces for voices to be heard and amplified. The stop-work meetings, and strikes showing the power of workers unity. The negotiations undertaken and the work done to increase clauses to support wāhine in the workplace.

We confronted the stark realities of the gender pay gap, the sting of job cuts, channelling our frustrations into a reservoir of determination. We acknowledged the disproportionate impact of silence on pay and conditions, while nurturing a collective resolve to elevate voices.

We shared stories of intersectionality, microaggressions, racism, and the need for wāhine to share in sisterly solidarity.

We increased our numbers and welcomed new members, we added to our Women’s Network- knowing power comes from numbers.

Each hug, each laugh, each shared meal, was a testament to our resilience and commitment to lift each other higher.

Shoulder-to-shoulder we stand to progress pay inequity and charting alternative pathways to safeguard jobs.

We cultivate a community where we find solace and rejuvenation in times of need.

Thank you to all wāhine in TEU for the work you do. The paid and the unpaid. The seen and the unseen.