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Minister fails women on day of celebration

Today should be a time to acknowledge and celebrate the historic achievements of New Zealand women and look hard at how the lives of women in our own backyard can be improved, says National’s women’s affairs spokeswoman Anne Tolley.

“Women want direction and leadership from government today, not stunts like the postcard campaign to the United Nations being pushed by the Minister of Women’s Affairs.

“New Zealand is a leading light in women’s rights, but we’re not perfect. The Minister should look to solving problems and improving the lot of women in her own backyard before riding off on an international crusade.

“On International Women’s Day, where is the Minister’s acknowledgment of increased participation in the workforce? Increased funding for early childhood education and child care subsidy? Extending the child care subsidy for out of school care? Expanding successful social programmes like Family Start?

“Why hasn’t the new Minister used this momentous day to launch one new initiative for women?

“Women make up 50% of the population. It’s in the national interest to have women active, productive and fully involved in the community. Stronger communities are built on the efforts of 100% of their population rather than by just 50%.

“Surely today would have been a great opportunity for the Minister to foreshadow her plans for Paid Parental Leave – or has she in three months failed to do anything constructive for women?” Mrs Tolley questioned.

Ends

Inquiries: Anne Tolley 04 471 9917

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