NZ women doing well but could do better – report

– I love my new country, New Zealand, but it isn’t perfect.   Here and there, the are bits one might wish were better.

– For example: the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the OECD and the fact that binge drinking is out of control here – these are a couple.

– I like their socialized medical system but it at times, it seems to lack the attention to quality and follow though that one comes to expect in places where the threat of law suits drive compliance to protocols and attention to detail.

– New Zealand was the first to give women the vote in the world but, in spite of this liberal reputation, the idea of equal pay for equal work hasn’t caught up here.   Witness the following story:

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New Zealand is doing well in gender equality but women still struggle to gain leadership roles and suffer from high levels of domestic violence, a new report says.

The New Zealand Government reports to the United Nations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (Cedaw) every four years on how well New Zealand women were doing.

Women’s Affairs Minister Hekia Parata released the latest report today.

“We have a high rate of women in paid work – ninth in the OECD – but women are still under-represented in senior positions,” Ms Parata said.

“This is not just a fairness issue, it’s a productivity issue. New Zealand can’t reach its full potential if we’re not making the best use of all the skills we have available to us.”

Women make up 41.5 percent on state sector boards and committees. However the figure is crashingly worse for the 100 companies listed on the New Zealand Stock Market – less than 9 percent of directors as at 2007.

The gender pay gap was proving tough to improve. “(It) has stubbornly sat at around 12 percent for the last decade and there is evidence that gains in relevant areas – such as women’s success in tertiary education – are not automatically leading to women and men being rewarded more equally,” the report said.

Sexual violence and family violence continued to be serious problems, it said.

“There are some signs that we are beginning to change attitudes towards family violence, but there’s a long way to go before we significantly reduce violence against women and children,” Ms Parata said.

– More…

– See also: The Global Gender Gap Report

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