National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women: Forty Years of Work 1967-2007
New Zealand's international obligations also impact on women and paid employment. A set of international standards have been established which New Zealand has ratified or aspires to comply with, and in rare cases denounces. In 1967, NACEW participated in a meeting to consider New Zealand's position on Resolution 1133 (XLI) of the Economic and Social Council of United Nations to develop a unified long-term UN programme in New Zealand. In 1985, New Zealand ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) with two reservations - one concerning women's participation in armed combat and the other on women working in underground mines. The Council had wanted New Zealand to ratify the Convention with no reservations.
These two reservations have since been lifted. In 1986, New Zealand denounced ILO Convention No 45: Underground Work (Women), which prohibited the employment of women underground except in narrowly defined circumstances. NACEW welcomed this, as the Council believed that equality of opportunity for women to obtain such jobs was important.
In 1977, Elizabeth Orr, the then chair of NACEW, attended the ILO Symposium on Women Workers held in Brussels. The symposium examined machinery to promote equality of treatment between the sexes, and the most suitable statistical means for the international measurement of progress towards equality.
In 1983, New Zealand ratified ILO Convention 111: Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) which actively promotes equality of treatment to eliminate all discriminatory practices in employment and training on the basis of sex, race, colour, religion, political opinion, national extraction, or social origin. More recently, NACEW submitted comments on the ILO Maternity Protection Convention 2000.
NACEW's focus, however, is primarily on the New Zealand context. It has only focussed on international conventions when it would assist women's employment in New Zealand.
 NACEW Annual Report 1983, p.1.