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Sexist Remarks Repugnant To Civilised Society

14 February 2002

"The hysterical and sexist remarks of Women's Electoral Lobby spokesperson Barbara Mabbett (NZPA 14/2/02) are repugnant to civilised society", Families Apart Require Equality (FARE) spokes person Darryl Ward said today. He was referring to Misss Mabbet's claims that paid parental leave legislation would result in men wanting to stay home, to get on with watching the rugby, and let mother take the job back.

"Children need the love and care of both of their parents, and it is outdated and sexist to pretend that they only need one of them. Indeed, the vast majority of fathers in New Zealand would love to spend more time with their children. However most sacrifice precious time with their families to go out and earn a living so that they can support them. Whilst our society allows women to choose family, career or both, men rarely have this same choice. Indeed, the fact that so many New Zealand women choose to stay home with the children is one of the main reason why there are more men than women in senior management positions."

"The government is blind to such simple logic, and instead talks about the imaginary 'glass ceiling' whilst ignoring the very real discrimination against fathers and its manifestations in the Family Court. We therefore should be doing everything possible to make it possible for fathers to raise children, not discouraging them."

"Even if fathers who stayed at home did find time to watch rugby, would this be any worse than mothers who watch re-runs of Melrose Place in the afternoon? Indeed, given the fact that most televised rugby matches take place in the weekend, there would be very little increase in its viewing if fathers were given the same right in practice as mothers to be more involved as parents", concluded Ward.


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