The National Council of Women President and Gender Equal NZ Spokesperson, Vanisa Dhiru says “we are pleased to hear that the new Government is throwing out the current equal pay Bill – and will be working to introduce new legislation that better meets the needs of all New Zealanders.”
“The fact that we have a persisting pay gap in New Zealand is absolutely unacceptable”, says Vanisa, “and it’s worse for some groups of women than others, because of racism, transphobia and other forms of oppression”.
“As New Zealanders we like to tell ourselves that we are equal – in fact, we pride ourselves on it. But there’s a gap – between what we think happens and what actually happens. The pay gap is proof of this.”
“The reality is, the Equal Pay Act 1972 needs to be modernised. The Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill introduced earlier this year would actually have made it significantly more difficult for workers in female-dominated occupations to pursue pay equity claims by placing new and unreasonably onerous requirements on claimants” says Vanisa.
The Minister for Women spoke this morning on Morning Report about needing to adhere to the Working Group on Pay Equity Principles – Gender Equal NZ wholeheartedly supports this. The Working Group’s recommendations will rely on the commitment and resourcing of government.
“Sexism in our society causes structural inequality, which creates barriers for many women to have the same employment outcomes as men. We commend the Minister for Women for recognising these issues” says Vanisa.
“Let’s move forward and up from this, with legislation that will make it much easier for claimants to get the outcome they deserve.”
Guyon Espiner asked the Minister for Women this morning, ‘what kind of society do we want to live in?’
Our answer: a Gender Equal New Zealand.