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National supports equality in defence forces

Dr Jackie Blue MP
National Party Women's Affairs Spokeswoman

07 December 2006

National supports equality in defence forces

National Party Women's Affairs spokeswoman Jackie Blue is supporting today's calls from the Human Rights Commission to delete the old fashioned rule in the Human Rights Act which bans women from combat roles in our armed services.

"It's time this part of the Act was updated. "I think most New Zealanders would agree that there should be equal treatment of those who bravely serve our country. Gender doesn't matter, so long as they do the job well and they do it safely."

In September, National supported the Human Rights (Women in Armed Forces) Amendment Bill at its first reading.

"There's no reason for the ban on combat roles for women to continue, especially when we have armed services that are struggling with dangerous shortages of personnel."

Dr Blue says Labour's steadfast refusal to acknowledge Nancy Wake for her work in the resistance is another example of our poor track record in recognising the role of women during conflict.

"My colleague Judith Collins has been pursuing this issue for some time now. The RSA has given Nancy Wake their top honour, yet Labour continues to resist formal recognition of her heroism."

ENDS

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