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Women leaders urged to try harder on Suffrage Day

Women leaders urged to try harder on Suffrage Day

Green Women's spokesperson Sue Kedgley has a Suffrage Day message for the nation's female leadership: please start delivering real improvements for ordinary women in New Zealand!

"We've had four years of a woman Prime Minister, Attorney General and the Chief Justice, and many women Ministers," said Ms Kedgley. "Why haven't we seen a more significant advance in the position of women?

"We want action now, not another task force," Ms Kedgley said. "The government must take a lead on pay equity, starting with nurses, and set aside money for the appropriate remuneration of nurses, caregivers, librarians and other traditional women's jobs."

Ms Kedgley called on the government to support fellow Green MP, Sue Bradford's private members bill for a Universal Child Benefit, her own bill on flexible working hours for parents with children under six, four weeks annual leave and an increase in the minimum wage.

"All of these measures which significantly improve conditions for ordinary working women and their families," she said.

Ms Kedgley said the Green party strongly supported the Nurses' 'Fair Pay - Because We're Worth It' campaign, and hoped the government would begin work to increase the remuneration of this highly skilled and grossly overworked professional group.

An average woman still earned 80 per cent of a man's salary and women's work was not valued as men's. "Our society still pays more for looking after our cars than for looking after our children, which is seen as women's work," Ms Kedgley said.

"While New Zealand women have come a long way in the 110 years since we got the vote, and strong women had demonstrated that women can reach the highest positions in the land, much discrimination remains, and there was still a long way to go," said Ms Kedgley.

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