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Elimination of discrimination 'slows under National'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand's seventh report to the United Nations on CEDAW highlights how progress has slowed on the elimination of discrimination against women under National, says Labour's Spokesperson for Women's Affairs Sue Moroney.

"While the report covers equal periods of time under either Government, most of the report details progress made during Labour's time in Government, with little to report since National came to power.

"And for the Government to be claiming a victory in narrowing the gender pay gap, when the real story is that everyone's wages are going backwards compared with living costs, is another blow to working families who face a tougher struggle to make ends meet.

"There is nothing to celebrate when men's wages drop - we need a Government that promotes higher wages.

The report also gloats about how hard men have been hit by the recession, despite the latest unemployment figures showing women's jobs are now disappearing at a higher rate than men's, said Sue Moroney.

The report covers the period from March 2006-March 2010 and amongst the seven areas of progress highlighted in the Minister's introduction are two that came in under Labour, one that the Government is yet to make a decision on, one that has had no impact and one that is misleading.

"That leaves two mediocre areas of improvement under the National-led Government.

"The report claims that the Ministry of Women's Affairs has had a budget increase to address the gender pay gap, but it fails to mention that the Government now commits less than half of what used to be spent on the issue when the Department of Labour was operating the Pay and Employment Equity Unit that was cut by National in 2009.

"Curiously, there is also no mention of the 90 day 'Fire at Will' legislation which disproportionately affects women and their employment while the cutting of pay equity funding has been trumpeted as an increase," said Sue Moroney.

The report will be presented to the UN on Wednesday.

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