International Women’s Day on March 8 celebrates women’s achievements while calling for greater gender equality. Events celebrating women are being held across the country. This includes the streaming of aworld-class feminist panel into Christchurch and a range of regional events hosted by UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand.
Shameful record on gender pay gap
Pay inequality in NZ is being ignored by the Government, stated both New Zealand First and NZEI. NZ First claimed that statistics on the pay gap released in The Salavation Army’s State of the Nation report highlighted the Government’s lack of action and showed it “doesn’t care about improving the plight of women in the workplace”. NZEI, following Patricia Arquette’s Oscar’s speech calling for equal pay, noted that the pay gap exists in NZ too and has even increased– from men earning an average of $3.42 an hour more than women in 2010 to $4.00 an hour more in 2014.
Australian sexologist Liz Walker promoted a unique new sex education programme to New Zealand audiences. The programme for schools deals explicitly with developing positive, ‘whole person’ sexuality while addressing issues such as pornography, consent, rape and teen pregnancy.
Supporting women affected by violence
Several organisations have continued the focus on domestic abuse this month. White Ribbon applauded the decision of NZ Police to take a more collaborative approach and engage further with family violence experts, Ministry for Women released a report on preventing violence against Māori women, Shine announced its “6 Minute March” appeal and HELP organised a Colour Me Purple Charity Auction.
Links to other news and research
- Zonta: Young women recognised for their leadership
- NZ Government: Women continue to benefit from growing economy
- NZ Council of Christian Social Services: Women and children suffering in the housing crisis
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