On International Women’s Day, Habitat for Humanity New Zealand recognises the disproportionate impact that inadequate housing has on women, and women’s heroic efforts in addressing substandard shelter.

Today in New Zealand, women still do most of the work in the home, including raising children. This means that adequacy of the housing they can access is felt even more keenly by them and by the next generation.

Women face disadvantages in achieving the housing they need. For instance, the gender pay makes housing more unaffordable on average for households with women earners. There is also some evidence that households headed by women face discrimination when seeking rental properties. Very regrettably, women trying to leave violent situations find that accessing adequate housing can be one of the largest barriers.

Right on our doorstep in some parts of the Pacific, women still cannot own their own land.

Women however are also building hope. As carpenters and policy makers, bankers and landlords, volunteers and donors, mothers and grandmothers, women are making awesome contributions to decent housing in this country and beyond.

Today we honour women in their struggle and their leadership in building a world where everyone has a decent place to live.