web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

118 years on – what would Kate say?

Written By: - Date published: 4:15 pm, September 19th, 2011 - 15 comments
Categories: feminism, labour, uncategorized - Tags: ,

118 years to the day when NZ became the first country in the world to give women the vote.  You can imagine how incredibly proud Kate and the sisterhood must have been. You can imagine them lifting their eyes to the future and seeing women standing shoulder to shoulder with their brothers, equal in political rights (and determined to use them for moral reform).

It’s hard not to think then that Kate might be a little disappointed with where we are now. Women still get paid less than men. As a rule we earn nearly 13% less than our male colleagues. Women still do more housework and do the lion’s share of child rearing, are less likely to hold a leadership role, violence and sexual abuse against women in NZ are amongst the highest in the OECD and to add insult to injury  the new drunks on the block are young women.

So it’s good that Labour’s come out with its women’s policy today.

I’d like to think Kate would be pleased with it, albiet a little pissed that we still need it.

15 comments on “118 years on – what would Kate say?”

  1. Ari 1

    Well, it’s a start, but there’s still no place we can easily read the policy document, and it all sounds about targets and aspirations than solid plans to actually practically improve the lot of women (and thereby communities) in New Zealand. I would’ve thought they’d have had some concrete plans for this by now.

    • Carol 1.1

      I doubt that most people would take much notice of the detail at the moment. I would expect them to flesh it out more as we get closer to the election. I think it’s important to draw attention to how bad NAct are for women. And Labour has highlighted some key areas/issues in their press release.

      I will be looking at exactly how Labour plan to improve the lot of many women over the next couple of months, and will compare it with policies of other parties eg The Greens.

  2. Jenny Michie 2

    I couldn’t find the actual policy online anywhere but I do have a hard copy one here at work that someone gave me. It does talk about ‘investigating’ inequality to a degree that I would have thought slightly redundant. I reckon women, like Maori, are fairly well investigate out. Now we need legislation that provides what the open market doesn’t.

    • Ari 2.1

      Well, I think where privacy concerns can be addressed, even just requiring employers to disclose average gender pay information could be useful in closing that gap, so committing to figuring out a way to pass that sort of law while still addressing privacy would be a (very minimal) start. Investigation is no longer necessary, we know there’s a problem and we know its severity, and we even know that it pretty much vanishes in environments where blind audition is a possibility, too. I’m not sure how you could argue that there’s anything ambiguous in that.

      And, as has been pointed out below- that’s just for women who want to stay in fields where pay and promotion equality is an issue. There’s much more to women’s policies- from defending rights unique to women, encouraging family planning, to valuing work done by women including education, the arts, and unpaid work. Even just committing to putting some good bills along those themes up for discussion would be an excellent start.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    It’s a mixed bag really, I have noticed a trend ever since the first wave of Rogernomics sackings where women have become primary or major earners in couple type male/female relationships. A lot of women are flexible, open to the new, reskilling and just get on with things, and yes are still exploited and subject to subterranean tory misogyny. Hello Alasdair.

  4. RedLogix 4

    As much Kate Sheppard would likely be astounded at all that has changed; ultimately on reflection she would be saddened to see that her vision of equality somehow got hijacked into meaning ‘the same as men’. I very much doubt she had that in mind.

    After ten thousand years of patriarchy, throughout which men have dominated using the twin tools of aggression and money, we are more or less incapable of recognising power in any different form. We imagine a matriarchy to be merely the same thing as a patriarchy, only with the gender roles reversed… yet in reality it would have to be something quite different.

    As Jenny points out, New Zealand has little to be proud of; it’s like we got off to a great start in the 1800’s, then post WW1 an endemic anti-intellectualism took hold stifling anything other than the most agonised spasms of reform. While we more or less tolerate reform at the margins, such as the impacted homosexuals and sex workers, when it comes to something that might affect us all, we become deeply obstinate. Witness how we tore ourselves apart over something as simple as the S59 reform.

    Feminism has more or less reached the limits of what we can tolerate as a society. Stalled as it has been for a generation, the movement appears fractured and unlikely to repeat achievements as meaningful as Kate and her sisters achieved. At least not in the near future. Something much deeper has to give within us before the next quantum of reform is permitted.

    For it will be a fearsome thing. It will be a leap that releases the power of women to BE women, and exercise their innate capacity in their own fashion, in a manner we are of yet unable to properly conceive.

    • “Feminism has more or less reached the limits of what we can tolerate as a society”.

      Yeah right, pull the other one it plays jingle girls. New Zealand has a no limit policy for feminism. One only has to look at feminist weapons of war like CYFS ,Air NZ, TVNZ and Family Court etc..etc…

    • Ari 4.2

      Feminism has more or less reached the limits of what we can tolerate as a society. Stalled as it has been for a generation, the movement appears fractured and unlikely to repeat achievements as meaningful as Kate and her sisters achieved. At least not in the near future. Something much deeper has to give within us before the next quantum of reform is permitted.

      Bwahaha! No, I think you’re entirely off-base here. Feminist ideas sound scary and radical sometimes by virtue of the way they’re covered in mainstream political thought and media, but they’re usually pretty popular once people have gotten over the hype and actually seen them in practice.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        Ari… I think you misread my intent completely. And utterly.

        Slow down and pay more attention.

  5. Brett 5

    In what jobs do woman get paid less?

  6. Carol 6

    It’s not just about men and women being paid differently for the same job. That is less of a problem than it used to be, and I think it might still linger where individuals can negotiate there pay and conditions; e.g some lawyers.

    But there’s also a historical legacy where jobs traditionally done by large numbers of women get paid less than jobs traditionally done by men; e.g. compare pay for child care or early childhood education with other jobs requiring a similar level of training and expertise, such as bricklaying, plumbing etc. Underlying that is the way caring work is financially undervalued, sometimes being unpaid, even though it’s necessary to the country’s economy and well-being.

    Then there’s the issue that there tends to be fewer women getting promotions than men.

    Women DO have more opportunities and successes in paid work, and in a wider range of jobs than when I was in my 20s. With these successes, the situation has got more complex.

    But part of the reason for some of the successes is changes in the economy, society and occupational base – less unskilled manual work, expansion of relatively insecure part time and/or contract work, more pressure on families to acquire consumer goods (requiring that 2 adults in many families work) etc.

    With these shifts, some underlying attitudes to women’s secondary position in society (nurturing, family-centred etc, classed as lower in monetary value) have remained and these have been incorporated into the shifts in men’s and women’s roles.

  7. Bill 7

    118 years on – what would Kate say?

    Easy.

    Kate (witheringly): “Where’s the fucking money?! … Honey

  8. millsy 8

    Too bad there are people who want to turn the clock back and undo the advances of the feminist movement.

    The current moral panic over female binge drinking and violence, with some people drawing links between that and feminism is a case in point. (I am reminded of Victorian commentators going on about ‘loose, hysterical women”).

    I think we really need to start thinking about enshrining sexual, reproductive and relationship freedoms in the Bill of Rights, so those filthy god-botherers (who lead the charge against feminism) are stopped once and for all.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

1 2 3 7

  • Ministers must answer questions on IRD blowout
    The current and previous Revenue Ministers must front up and explain how the child support system had a budget blowout from $30 million to $210 million in just four years, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Peter Dunne was Revenue… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Curb stratospheric public CEO salaries
    A review of the way MPs’ pay is set should also look at ways to curb excessive rises in the salaries of public service chief executives, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Some of these CEOs have had stratospheric pay increases… ...
    7 hours ago
  • 50 cents? Makes no sense.
    The minimum wage rose by 50 cents this month from 14.25 to 14.75. While it’s a small step towards ensuring minimum workers get a fair share, it’s important to remember that real wages only rose 1.5% while productivity rose by… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 day ago
  • The Serco corrections circus
    It should seem obvious to employers, private or public, that it’s important to do what you can to retain your best, most experienced staff. They make life easier for you because they’re effective, attentive and often respected by those around… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    1 day ago
  • Time for NZ to prohibit the killing of great apes
    That ban was widely hailed, and spurred efforts in other countries to get similar bans. However, apes are still being exploited, abused and killed, both in captivity and in the wild. Examples of cruelty, neglect and abuse abound. Apes are… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    4 days ago
  • Auckland building consents: Tragic
    The only word to describe the latest building consent figures for Auckland is ‘tragic’, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Whatever the Government is doing to address the Auckland housing crisis, it is clearly not working. ...
    4 days ago
  • A whiff of a new biosecurity scandal?
    A pest which could create havoc for New Zealand’s horticulture and agriculture sector must be as much a focus for the Government as hunting out fruit flies, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “While the Ministry for Primary Industries is… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government shrugs off health sector crisis
    Despite new evidence showing that cuts to health spending are costing lives the Government continues to deny the sector is struggling, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health services in New Zealand are in crisis. ...
    5 days ago
  • Parata lowered the bar for failing charter school
    When Hekia Parata became aware that the Whangaruru charter school was experiencing major problems her first action was to drop standards by reducing the number of qualified teachers they had to employ, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins has revealed. “Hekia… ...
    5 days ago
  • National not being straight about the economy
    John Key and Bill English need to be straight with New Zealanders about the damage their failure to diversify the economy is doing, after new figures show export growth plunged due to a collapse in dairy exports, says Grant Robertson.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Mind the Gap
    This week the International Monetary Fund released a report on the wider economic value in closing the gender pay gap. When even the bastions of free-market economics start to raise concerns about gender pay gaps, we have to realise how… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour will hold National to parental leave promise
    Labour will hold National to its promise to increase the support given to new parents of premature, multiple birth and babies born with disabilities, Labour’s paid parental leave campaigner Sue Moroney says. "I am naturally disappointed that after battling for… ...
    6 days ago
  • It was all just pillar talk
    Steven Joyce’s confession that he can no longer guarantee a pillar-free design for the New Zealand International Convention Centre shows the Government has abandoned its dream of creating an ‘iconic’ ‘world-class’ structure, says Labour Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “Steven… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australians move on offshore speculators
    John Key might want to have a quiet word with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott about Canberra's just-announced crack down on offshore speculators when he visits New Zealand this week, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says."Tony Abbott's centre right government… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government at odds on overseas driver crashes
    National backbencher Jacqui Dean has spoken out about overseas driver crashes, putting herself at odds with Prime Minister John Key who is on record as saying it’s not a big issue, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “I’m not surprised… ...
    6 days ago
  • Human Rights and the Palestine Crisis
    Last week I heard two Palestinians speak at Wellington events about the ongoing crisis in their country. Samar Sabawi spoke to a full house about the history of Palestine and gave us a lucid and disturbing account of the situation… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Time to take real care of our kids
    An Amnesty International report has once again criticised New Zealand’s track record on looking after our kids, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. The annual report, which looks at global human rights abuses highlights not only the fact that high… ...
    6 days ago
  • John Key wrong about Labour’s war vote
    John Key’s desperate claims that the former Labour Government didn’t put combat troop deployment to a Parliamentary vote are simply wrong, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “It was disgraceful that the Prime Minister ran rough shod over democracy and… ...
    6 days ago
  • Māori language bill needs work
     It is clear that the first draft of the Māori Language Bill was about structures and funding rather than the survival of te reo Māori, Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.  “Labour is pleased that the Minister of Māori… ...
    6 days ago
  • Report proves troubled school shouldn’t have opened
    The long-awaited release of an Education Review Office report into Northland’s troubled Whangaruru charter school proves it should never have been approved in the first place, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This report identifies problems with absenteeism and disengaged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Manus Island and the New Zealand Government
    This week the Greens have participated in awareness activity about Manus Island, the refugee camp on an island in Papua New Guinea where Australia dumps asylum seekers. John Key says that he has every confidence in the Australian Government’s claim… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Election Inquiry – Getting accessible voting on the agenda
    James Shaw has been doing a series of blogs on the Election Inquiry into last year’s general election.  I thought this was a great opportunity to raise an issue very dear to me – accessible voting. Last year’s general election… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    2 weeks ago
  • RMA changes no solution to Christchurch housing
    Housing will continue to be a big issue in 2015. The latest Consumer Price Index, released last month, shows both good news and bad news on the housing front. After years of being the most expensive place to build a… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Saving kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges
    It is amazing that you can hear the song of the endangered North Island kokako in South Auckland’s Hunua Ranges, less than 50 kms from the central city. A heavy schedule of policy workshops at the Green Party’s Policy… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s not turn a blind eye to human rights
    The Cricket World Cup has just opened in New Zealand, and it’s an opportunity for us to shine on the world stage. International sport can be a chance for us to build relationships with other countries, and examine what it… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Its Just Not Cricket
    This week it was my privilege to work with Sri Lankan Tamil communities in this country and host Australian journalist and human rights advocate Trevor Grant. I knew a bit about Trevor from his biography but I didn’t know just… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZ to #BeCrueltyFree
    The Government is about to progress the final stages of the Animal Welfare Amendment bill. This will be our last opportunity to get changes made to improve the bill to ensure a better outcome for animals. I have put forwards… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 weeks ago
  • We want access!
    Access to buildings is a big issue for many New Zealanders. It looks like that, due to the hard work and persistence of people in the disability community, the Government may finally be starting to take access to buildings seriously.… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Greens call on Super Fund to divest from fossil fuels
    The Green Party today called on the New Zealand Superannuation Fund (the Fund) to divest from fossil fuels, starting immediately with coal. The call was accompanied with a new report, Making money from a climate catastrophe: The case for divesting… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Kiwis’ housing crisis
    Shelter is a fundamental human need along with food, water and clean air. All humans need adequate shelter; it’s a human right. Warm, safe, stable accommodation is critical for young people to be able learn and grow and just be.… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 weeks ago

Removed at the request of The Daily Blog.
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere