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

  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Recognizing Palestine: The European Parliament Votes
    Last week I wrote a blog drawing attention to Sweden’s formal recognition of the state of Palestine (the second Western state to do so after Iceland).  That move has created ripples throughout the international community. In recent months the parliaments… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Minister has work to do over Xmas
    Red flags raised in a multi-agency review into how Phillip Smith was able to flee the country highlight the inadequacies of those very same agencies not having red flags in place that would have notified them of his plans, says… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Gerry Brownlee’s revolving airport door story
    A new report shows Gerry Brownlee is the latest Cabinet Minister to have contracted the infectious tell-porkies-until-you-are-caught disease, Labour’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins says. “A Civil Aviation Report out today shows that despite being an extremely recognisable figure, Gerry Brownlee… ...
    Labour
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki… ...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It… ...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry. ...
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its… ...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review… ...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the… ...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says.… ...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience. ...
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson. ...
    Labour
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare… ...
    Labour
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Tourist safety tags won’t lower toll, says safety campaigner
    Steering wheel tags with road safety tips for visiting drivers will do little or nothing to lower the tourist road toll, says a prominent road safety campaigner. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Public invited to have say on human rights record
    A draft report on New Zealand’s performance under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights has been released for public comment by the Ministry of Justice. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • “Prominent Auckland businessman” a depraved predator
    The 15-year prison sentence imposed on a “prominent Auckland businessman” for shackling and sexually violating young drug-addicted girls in a dungeon, has been welcomed by sexual violence advocacy group, Stop Demand Foundation. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Proprietors of Wakatū v Attorney-General
    The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by the Wakatū Incorporation, Rore Pat Stafford and Te Kāhui Ngahuru Trust alleging breaches of trust and fiduciary duty against the Crown. The High Court had also dismissed the claims. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Smith investigation warrants executed
    Auckland City Police investigating prison absconder Phillip Smith's activities prior to his departure from New Zealand recently, are aware of allegations about a Department of Corrections staff member and today located and spoke with the person named in ...
    Scoop politics
  • Is Your Family Ok This Christmas?
    For many people Christmas is a time for gift giving and eating until you fall asleep on your Grandparent’s sofa. Unfortunately, in New Zealand, many families do not experience Christmas this way. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan
    Government delivers realistic land transport investment plan The AA has welcomed the Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport 2015/16 - 2024/25. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Korero Mai Kia Ahau: Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 December 2014
    Despite the cracking pace set by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson, National fell short of its 2014 deadline for completing historic Treaty settlements and quietly extended it to 2017. In Kia Korero Mai, Eruera Morgan talks to Waitangi ...
    Scoop politics
  • Reminder of the value of council recreation investment
    High holiday season demand for city parks, aquatic centres, cycleways and other recreation infrastructure highlights the vital importance of continued council investment in new facilities, says New Zealand Recreation Association Chief Executive Andrew Leslie. ...
    Scoop politics
  • Judge Advises Circumventing Law on Fluoride
    Justice David Collins has taken it upon himself to advise the NZ Ministry of Health's legal team on how best to circumvent the Judicial Review before him, regarding fluoridation in New Zealand. It appears the Judge is well aware that… ...
    Scoop politics
  • Consultation on NZ report on the Rights of the Child
    Sacha O’Dea, General Manager, Ageing, Disability and International of the Ministry of Social Development, announced the opening of public consultation on the Fifth Periodic Report under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC) ...
    Scoop politics
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere