Category Archives: Uncategorized

You’re Cordially Invited to our AGM!

August 10, 2017


Shakti AGM Image
















Shakti has been going strong in Aotearoa for 22 years, with a commitment to ending all forms of violence and gender based oppression in the Asian, African and Middle Eastern community, which may be culturally sanctioned or otherwise. We are established nationally with refuges and drop in centres all over New Zealand to ensure members of our community are able to access safety and justice.

Our Wellington refuge has kept its doors open despite systematically being denied government funding over the last 3 years. With over 300 women accessing safety at our refuge in the last year, we resolved to fight for our critical and life saving service to be granted adequate funding and our campaign to Save Shakti Wellington Refuge was launched this March. In light of this campaign for our life saving service necessary to our community in the Wellington region to be sustainably resourced we are holding our 2017 AGM in Wellington.

We are so grateful for the support of the Wellington community, and the support of friends of Shakti from all over Aotearoa who stand beside us in our call for the government to reconsider its decision to deny the Shakti Wellington Refuge funding. We continue to be overwhelmed by the outpour of support from the community which has come in the form of petition signatures, fundraising events, financial donations, endorsements of our campaign, and the warmth and aroha which has be so significant in encouraging and uplifting us in this fight.

We would love to be able to thank you in person, and we would be delighted to have your presence at our 22nd AGM.

Send your RSVPs to [email protected]

We hope to see you there!

“No Equality Without Diversity” – International Women’s Day Brunch 10th March

February 28, 2017

சர்வதேச மகளிர் தினம் Hari Wanita Antarabangsa 国际妇女节 अंतरराष्ट्रीय महिला दिवस 세계 여성의 날 Ngày Quốc tế Phụ nữ روز زن Kadınlar Günü يوم المرأة ජාත්යන්තර කාන්තා දිනය

The international climate right now is becoming more hostile for migrant and refugee women. The anti-immigrant attitudes and policies in Europe, Australia and North America, the backtracking of women’s rights in Russia and the US, and growing inequalities locally and abroad means there is still a long way to go to achieve full gender equality and equity for immigrant women, particularly for migrant and refugee women of colour.

Shakti will be marking International Women’s Day this year on the 10th of March with the message “No Equality Without Diversity” at Mt Albert War Memorial Hall, 9.30am-1pm. As immigrant women in Aotearoa/New Zealand, we experience patriarchal racism on an institutional and structural level, within the home and outside. After 21 years of actively working with New Zealand’s Asian, Middle Eastern and African communities, we continue to struggle for a place to exist as a community within the wider realms and be able to exercise our agency over our own affairs.

We live in a globalised world and our population is ethnically diverse but recent government strategies, including a “one size fits all” approach in the area of social services, is overlooking the specific needs of marginalised groups including migrant and refugee women, who are one of the most vulnerable communities in Aotearoa. At this event, we will also discuss in detail our campaign to #SaveShaktiWellingtonRefuge.

We invite you to join us in solidarity over a catered brunch. The Shakti Youth Unit will be launching the “Break Free” handbook for migrant and refugee youth experiencing family violence, a first of its kind in New Zealand . This event will also feature two panel discussions, one with researchers, followed by a cross-Party panel on the theme of “No Equality Without Diversity”.

We look forward to your support and presence. RSVP here:

This event is supported by:

Pacific Women’s Watch, Multicultural Council NZ, Ethnix Links and Auckland Women’s Centre

Donate to support Shakti:


Islam is a feminist religion

February 27, 2017

Islam is a feminist religion

Islam is a feminist religion. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an employee of his wife’s business. His wife, Khadija, was a businesswoman in her own right, and 15 years older than Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Khadija is the first convert Muslim if we consider Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to be born as a Muslim. In the Koran, there is an entire chapter on women, but unfortunately self-proclaimed leaders, predominantly men, distort the religion over the centuries in their own interest. Clearly, Islam as a religion and Muslim cultures is not the same. Some Muslim cultures are very sexist, patriarchal and do not give equal rights to the women. Muslim cultures in individual countries are also very different, for example, Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa will have vast differences. Muslim cultures are very fluid and can change, but religion cannot be changed.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 3.53.16 PMOften in western countries, we hear mostly from (self-proclaimed) male leaders talk about violence against women, women’s dress/clothing and what is right or wrong for women. I guess that shows the power men exercise over women, even in the 21st century. It is very rare that women have the opportunity to answer, and very few women ready to answer due to the potential backlash they will face from the community in general. We’d like to take the opportunity to congratulate Yassmin Abdel-Magied for speaking out as a Muslim woman in Australia where she says “Islam to me is one of the most, is the most feminist religion.”

The current climate in the world, where Islamophobia is spreading all over western countries manifests in Muslim women and children being attacked within the wider community. Muslim women throughout the world are being targeted. Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 3.54.01 PM

Islam is a very peaceful religion, and in saying that, it would be a joke in the current environment, but Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon on him) always refused to attack anybody. He talked about defence. For Muslim women, it’s not just the attack from the society they are in within western countries, the violence against Muslim women is also very real and an everyday phenomena at home. This kind of article only triggers violence inside and outside the home. It gives men the right to use violence.

Both Australian and NZ Federation of Islamic Council need to practice gender equality within their organisation framework, where women need to be responding to the issues concerning women. That will bring a change.

Shakti Celebrates 20 Years!

July 17, 2015

Join Shakti to celebrate our 20 years of serving Asian, African and Middle Eastern women, children and young people in New Zealand, Australia and internationally.

Find an event near you and bring your family & friends!

150717 Shakti Flyer

Wellington Fundraiser

November 21, 2014



“Folktree has kindly offered to organise a fundraiser for Shakti Wellington in support of our refuge! The event is going to take place in Wellington, with 4 musicians lined up to play atBaobab Cafe (Newtown) on Thursday next week, including Wellingtonian singer, Amiria Grenell, currently on tour in the South Island. There will be a silent auction of some beautiful Gond artworks (created by artists from an indigenous group in India) and selling books from an independent publisher in Chennai (Tara Books).

Click here for the facebook event, and this is the folktree webpage which explains a bit about the books and the artworks.”

So come along for some great music, artworks and awesome time.


March to change New Zealands Shame – 15th September 2014

September 11, 2014

Date: Monday, 15th September 2014

Time: 12 Noon

Where: From Civic Square, down Lambton Quay to parliament steps

Help us create an impact nationally by uniting with us and organising your own march in your area. Below is some information that will help you in doing this.

Download the march kit here

Key areas to find further information are

The official March event page |

Women’s Refuge Facebook page |

Women’s Refuge Official website |

For any further information or questions please email Claire at [email protected]

Event overview

  • A United Call to Action Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence in New Zealand
  • The march will take place on Monday 15th of September 2014, between 12.00pm-15.00pm.
  • The march will begin in Civic Square Wellington, where participants will gather at 11am and prepare for the March to begin.
  • At 12.00pm the march will begin, we will walk down the length of Lambton Quay, its finish point will be the Parliament steps.
  • Kate Sheppard was New Zealand’s most prominent suffragette. Now 132 years on, Women’s Refuge hopes Ms Sheppard’s image will help reduce domestic abuse against women and children. “We need to all stand up and we need to call for action, and so recognising Kate’s achievement is about calling for action as she did,” says Women’s Refuge chief executive Heather Henare.
  • The Kate Sheppard statue will be presented to the Government on the steps of parliament
  • Key speakers will talk to the crowd and deliver our key messages.

Planning your own march? Great!

We value your support and commitment and we want you to remain safe and keep to your local council’s rules in relation to holding a public march.

If you are planning your own march then please use the same day and times as the details listed above.

If you are having a march where you will meet and stay at one particular area with your banners and chants, check with your council if there are any specific requirements for the use of this area

If you plan to do a street march or footpath march to a specific place, it is best to contact your council for details and requirements/restrictions.

What you need on the day

  • Banners
  • Chants
  • A designated leader or leaders to rally together the attendees and motivate them
  • Designated marshals who are easily identified and help keep the crowd safe

What do we want from this march?


  • We want politicians, the media and members of the public to know how serious the issues of domestic and sexual violence are for the people of New Zealand
  • We want them to reflect on our history and how Kate Sheppard may have dealt with this issue.
  • We want an Independent Inquiry into systems and resourcing around domestic violence services.
  • We want a cross party government team to take leadership on this issue and commit to acceptance of the epidemic and change.
  • We want, via media cover, to let victims and survivors know that there are people out there who want the violence to stop and for their abuse to be dealt with consistently and appropriately. Nice!

Key Messages

Domestic violence and sexual violence are pervasive, life-threatening crimes that impact thousands of New Zealanders with serious physical, psychological and economic effects.


New Zealand is amongst an epidemic of violence and we must act now to break the cycle.

The people of New Zealand need to know that we can break this cycle but in order to do this we must  project our voices as one to be heard by those who have the power to make a definitive change.

Violence against women, children and families is unacceptable

At this event we will make a call to action for the Government to acknowledge the urgency and seriousness of the issues of domestic and sexual violence.

Questions and Answers:

How many people do you want and can men join in?

We want as many people as possible involved. This is an issue affects women, men and children therefore we want everyone involved.

Why did you bring the spirit of Kate back?

Because we know that she wouldn’t have stood for the levels of domestic violence occurring in this country and she would be disgraced at the current situation. We are encouraging all New Zealanders to stand up and march with us to force the Government to make an immediate commitment to work with us to end this problem once and for all.

What will you do with the finished statue of Kate?

We intend to gift Kate to the Government on the day of the march, to be kept within parliament grounds as a constant reminder of what we are marching for and the rights of women, children and families to live violence free.

What if the Government does not want her?

There will be another party that will accept her. The refusal to accept Kate could be seen as a refusal to acknowledge the seriousness of domestic and sexual violence.

Shakti Australia News and Events

December 2, 2013

Shakti in the Spotlight:

Link to Four Corners Episode ‘Without Consent’, feat. Shakti on forced marriage:

New Agency to help Asian, Middle Eastern women in violence:

Vic Teens forced to marry:

Post 4

July 16, 2013

Post 4 text