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Turner backs blokes

Media statement
For immediate release
Friday, 22 September 2006

Turner backs blokes

United Future deputy leader Judy Turner says the Government should be putting as much effort into men's needs as it does for women's.

“I question the fairness of having a Ministry that looks only at women’s issues, without any advocate for men, or that fails to acknowledge gender issues are inter-related, not isolated from each other," she said.

"As the Minister of Women’s Affairs meets with her Australian counterparts to look at issues that affect women today, it is timely to remind the Government of the thousands of New Zealand men who are affected by issues that receive neither the concern nor the attention they deserve from Government.

“I think it’s great that we continue to encourage better outcomes for women, both here and abroad – but why do we not do the same for the blokes?

“For example, while women dominate many lower paid carer professions, men dominate dangerous professions and subsequently have far more accidents and deaths in the workplace.

“Women are more likely to leave the workforce for a period to take responsibility for child-rearing, and may therefore ease back in lower paid part-time work – a concern looked at by the Ministry.

“But the flip-side is that men often feel that they don’t see enough of their families and are forced to work longer and longer hours, faced with the stress of being the sole provider for their families on one income.

“With men suffering disproportionately in areas of suicide, substance abuse, homelessness, mortality, education, workplace injuries, many health problems, lack of male teachers and with family court issues, there are many areas that deserve acknowledgment and attention from the Government.

“My point is that this Government’s ideology and policies, ignore the concerns of half the population. It’s a good thing to look at how to improve the lot for women, but we should also be looking at whether we can improve problem areas for men,” said Mrs Turner.

ENDS

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