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Key on women’s rights

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, May 1st, 2015 - 29 comments
Categories: feminism, human rights, john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, sexism - Tags: , ,

It is always difficult for a leader visiting or negotiating with a country with a poor human rights record. Domestic expectations demand that issues be “raised” / “discussed”, and so it is dutifully claimed. But are they really? If they are I doubt that it ever amounts to more than apologetic lip service.

Key was in a particularly poor position in his talks with Saudi Arabian officials. He’s an international laughing stock, and everyone in the room knew it. Thus:

Key defended how he conducted discussions over Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record – he didn’t directly raise discrimination against women with ruler King Salman.

“I thought some of the reporting misrepresented it. Human rights are womens’ rights. And actually we had a really extensive conversation with him … I thought we’d done a pretty darn good job.”

That isn’t even weak, it’s just openly evading the issue. Which was his only option of course, because:

That’s the trouble with blowing your credibility, your influence goes with it.

For excellent related coverage yesterday see:
Ponytail-gate dogs John Key during Turkey, Gulf visit, and
Is ponytail just the latest example of cavalier Key?

29 comments on “Key on women’s rights ”

  1. felix 1

    It’s not Key’s fault, he would’ve loved to have sorted out women’s rights in Saudi just like he sorted out whaling.

    But the media keep making fun of him, and lefties keep blabbing about him, and it undermines all his good work.

    If Bradbury hadn’t stirred up all this trouble, women in Saudi would probably be much better off today.

    And if the waitress had kept her leftie mouth shut, no-one would’ve known.


    • tracey 1.1

      “women right”? Always in my family mate” joked John Key

      • felix 1.1.1

        Pretty much.

        I suspect he genuinely doesn’t think there’s much of an issue. He’s met a couple of princesses, they seem to be doing alright.

        Same as how he views problems in NZ really.

        • Tracey

          Except yesterday when he got snotty with the reporters he revealed two important things (not revealed in his response to the pony tail tugging)

          1. Hhe DOES understand that rulers have to behave in a certain way, that they might not want to; and
          2. Certain behaviours are impolite.

          I refer to

          “No ruler was impolite enough to mention it. “Only you,” Key tersely told reporters.”

          • Hayden

            2. Certain behaviours are impolite.

            He’s making progress then.

            • s y d

              rulers not leaders

              • Tracey

                When he is knighted he will regard himself as officially a member of the ruling class (for now he behaves as though it’s just unofficial)

    • Murray Rawshark 1.2

      In Saudi Arabia, a decent man would be allowed to flog a communist waitress, with a bit of jokey beheading thrown in if she complained.

  2. Sable 2

    Its all just a dance. Money is all that matters to these people.

  3. Richard@Down South 3

    I’m pretty sure you’d generally get arrested for repeated pony tail pulling here too, especially if witnessed by police

    • Tracey 3.1

      if witnessed by the police, and they heard the victim say no, and then the person did it again, I would hope the police would step in and at least speak to the person in front of the victim. Minimum.

      • Richard@Down South 3.1.1

        I wonder if the OIA could be used to find out if the DPS squad did witness it (they cant say they didn’t see it happen on a few occasions surely)

        • Tracey

          I bet even if they do record such things it would be refused on the grounds of “National Security”…

  4. It is all about the dollars and the ideology. National don’t want to spend more than they absolutely have to on womens issues as clearly seen from Upston’s conduct – or lack of.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Strangely no one has been able to find a correlation between high GDP and improved womens rights, or reduced child abuse and yet so many set higher GDP as crucial to get those other things…

      • Sans Cle 4.1.1

        Overall, the correlation between GDP levels and gender equality has been established across countries .
        However that masks what is happening within countries (not necessarily proven more equality across all income levels, but again that depends on what indicators of equality you are looking at), and indeed within households (not all women are treated equally within the same household), especially as you point out violence toward women (and/or children).

  5. Anon 5

    May be on the monthly anniversary of John Key’s hair pulling assault exposure, Friday, 22 May, every woman and girl should wear a pony tail as a reminder to people that ‘It is NEVER OK to touch someone without their permission’

    And dedicate that date, 22 of every month as a pony tail day or April 22 every year as the pony tail day!

    Wouldn’t that be a powerful message for all?

    • Graeme 5.1

      I don’t think we’ll need to wait that long. I’m waiting for the first confrontation with the press when he gets home, suspect there’ll be every ponytail the media can muster in attendance.

      The thought brings back memories of Muldoon being greeted by a 6’6′” cameraman at Paraparaumu as he got of an Andover one day when Wellington airport was closed. That little man moment was priceless.

  6. Dale Cross 6

    Yes just like Hellen and Phil did with China’s record of human rights. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

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