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Counting Women’s Work

7 March 2006

Press Release Press Release Press Release

Counting Women’s Work


International Women’s Day, 8 March, recognises working women everywhere: in the home, in the community and in business. “It is a day to celebrate,” said Christine Low, National President of the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ).

“Placing women in paid employment is not the great panacea to increase New Zealand’s prosperity” she said. “Women undertake unpaid roles in the home and community which, if counted in the national accounts, would give importance to this input. With women being pressured to find paid employment, especially when their children go to school, NCWNZ wonders who will be around to take on the tasks society so willingly leaves to women who are not in paid work.”

The Time Use Survey 1998 - 1999, and figures from the Census 2001 reported in Focusing on Women (2005) provide measurements of women’s contribution outside of the market economy. Women spend on average an extra 730 hours per annum on unpaid work ranging from working for their household, caring for their families members and other members of the community, contributing time and effort to organisations and groups in a voluntary capacity.

“With Paid Parental Leave and more businesses promoting Family Friendly Workplaces NCWNZ is pleased that there are now options for everyone to accept a greater responsibility for sharing the caring and nurturing roles traditionally provided by women.”

NCWNZ from its inception 110 years ago has campaigned for the right of women to make decisions affecting their welfare and that of their families. “While today we celebrate all working women we can only hope that women working in unpaid roles will have more to celebrate in the future,” concluded Christine Low.


ENDS

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