Auckland women are speaking up at the #MeToo community forum

May 18, 2018

Auckland women are speaking up at the #MeToo community forum

Ms Anson has very strong views around the #MeToo movement. Photo: Supplied.

The Auckland Women’s Centre are raising their voice on the global #MeToo movement through hosting a community forum.

Leonie Morris, Auckland Women’s Centre manager says “it is an incredibly important topic. Recent research tells us that one in three young women in New Zealand, will have an unwanted sexual experience before they’re 16 years old.”

Ms Morris is holding the #MeToo community forum on May 29 to open conversation surrounding sexual harassment and abuse.

“It’s important because it has shown the wider community, how widespread sexual harassment and sexual assault is - it is a massive problem,” she says.

The event is hosting four influential guest speakers to discuss their knowledge on the movement.

The speakers include: Dr Huhana Hickey, Law and human rights expert; Jan Logie, Parliamentary Undersecretary to the Minister of Justice; Alison Mau, Investigative journalist and Mengzhu Fu, Shakti National Youth Coordinator.

Ms Fu says “[I’m] working toward building a future without violence and discrimination alongside migrant and refugee youth of Asian, Middle Eastern and African descent.”

She believes the #MeToo movement is about normalising the calling out of sexual harassment and abuse, specifically people who have been protected by power and status.

“There is still a long way to go to transform the structural inequities and social hierarchies that provide the conditions for sexual violence to occur,” says Ms Fu.

Ms Fu is wanting to speak on the nuances that are not well understood by mainstream communities.

She says “I want to highlight the strength and power of migrant feminists, despite the ‘double silencing’ of migrant survivors of sexual violence from mainstream and immigrant communities.”

23-year-old, Hazel Caroline Anson, is excited to attend the event and learn more about the #MeToo movement.

“I think it’s really awesome that woman focused organisations are able to cater to who they are trying to serve, and they have noticed this trend and this something they can speak out about.

“I think it is time in modern history, that women are starting to hear more anecdotal evidence about what is going on in society,” says Ms Anson.

Mrs Morris wants the forum to spark the movement further.

“In the long term, we could really change the lives of women and girls, so that they are not vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault,” she says.

Mrs Morris believes that support is vital and is anticipating for all genders to come along.

“I’m hoping that lots of men come to the forum, so they can take up this issue in their own way…If it’s not you it could be your sister, or your daughter or your best friend. This is such a widespread problem, that nobody is unaffected by,” says Mrs Morris.

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