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Ed Sheeran

Mana Wahine Claim takes attack on whakapapa

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Twenty five years after the claim was first lodged, the Waitangi Tribunal has held a judicial conference whether Maori women have been marginalised by crown policies and actions.

The Mana Wahine Claim was orignially lodged by the late Dame Mira Szazy, along with another former Maori Women's Welfare League President, Dame Whina Cooper, Lady Rose Henare, Dr Irihapeti Ramsden, and representing the younger generation, Donna Awatere, Ripeka Evans and Paparangi Reid.

Ms Awatere-Huata says Dame Mira was responding to the fact there were few women appointed to boards set up to manage things of concern to Maori.

She says the stripping from Maori women of their mana wahine started in the earliest years European settlement.

"Tribes that once took their lineage from both the mother's and the father's lines, increasingly the whakapapa have been reoriented to favour men and so many women have been left out of native land titles, have been left out of succeeding to their land, and mana tangata in terms of the esteem given to Maori women, there has been a devaluing of women," she says.

Evidence was given to the judicial conference that this lack of status contributed to the high ratesof abuse and violence against Maori women.

 

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