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Women at work: Alliance women's policy

Phillida Bunkle MP Sun Sep 19 1999

Phillida Bunkle
MP Women in the workplace would find conditions and opportunities vastly improved under policies the Alliance would push as the heart of a new government, Alliance women's affairs spokesperson Phillida Bunkle said today.

She was launching the Alliance women's policy in Wellington at a brunch celebration of women's suffrage today.

Guest speakers included film-maker Gaylene Preston and Wellington City Councillor, Mary Varnham.

'The number of women at university has shot up, and yet they still earn less than men.

'The Alliance is committed to doing something about that. We want to see effective legislation that will ensure there is equal pay for work of equal value.

'Legislation is the only way of guaranteeing pay equity for women.

The Alliance would also set up an Employment Equity Bureau to develop and promote equal employment opportunities both in the public and private sectors.

The policy also promotes family friendly work practices, including the popular twelve weeks paid parental leave.

'A big concern to us is the mental health of women and girls, especially around eating disorders. The Alliance would provide funding for a full and comprehensive study, including the establishment of a dedicated eating disorders service.

'I was very proud to open the first eating disorder unit of its kind in New Zealand, in Wellington earlier this year. These are the kind of services we need if we're to do anything serious about our appalling suicide rates.'

Reproductive health is a major concern to most women. The Alliance policy would require In vitro (IVF) fertility programmes to provide adequate information on the identity of sperm, egg and embryo donors.

'Women need as much information and support as possible when making choices about reproduction and child birth.

The Alliance is also proposing a summit on violence, school programmes to prevent bullying and additional funding for services like Women's Refuge, as part of its comprehensive plan to bring down the high levels of violence against women.

Finally, the Alliance is proposing a comprehensive review of the Matrimonial Property Act.

'De facto relationships should have protection and property rights equivalent to married partners,' said Phillida Bunkle.


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