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From Now until the End of the Year, Women Work for Free

29 November, 2012

From Now until the End of the Year, Women in NZ Work for Free

New YWCA Auckland ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign aims to put the spotlight on NZ’s gender pay gap.

YWCA Auckland has today launched a controversial campaign to highlight the pay disparity that exists between genders in New Zealand.

A number of recent research findings and reports show that, on average, women in New Zealand are paid at least 10% less than their male counterparts, and the gap is widening. To put it into perspective a 10% pay disparity means women working fulltime in New Zealand would effectively stop being paid from today, while men similarly employed would stay on the payroll until the end of year.

According to the 2012 Statistics NZ Quarterly Employment Survey, a 10% gender pay gap is conservative; suggesting the disparity in earnings has actually increased to 14.18% in 2012. This is up 1.3% from 12.85% in the year to September 2012.
YWCA Auckland President Kate Sutton says the aim of the ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign is to urge the Government to introduce the Pay Equality Bill, drafted by Dr Judy McGregor (Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner), into Parliament for its first reading.
Ms Sutton adds the pay inequality situation in New Zealand is a damning indictment for a country famous for being the first in the world to enfranchise adult women.

“We were the first country to give women the vote, yet over a century later, we are still battling to get women paid as much as men do. It doesn’t make sense.
“Women being treated so unfairly have not gone unnoticed by the United Nations, which has urged the New Zealand Government to address the gender pay gap. But now we need the public’s help to get the Government to take action,” says Ms Sutton.

The YWCA Auckland’s ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign includes a hard hitting TV ad on TVNZ which highlights the absurdity of pay disparity based on gender. The TV campaign is supported by a number of full page press and radio spots scheduled to run in the coming weeks.
Monica Briggs, CEO of the YWCA Auckland, says she hopes the campaign will serve as a call to arms and alert all New Zealanders to this widespread issue which is one pivoting around fairness for all.

“This issue has been swept under the carpet for too long. The invisible discrimination begins the moment women enter the workforce as graduates. Although their student debt may be equal to male students’, their entry-level wages often are not. After only one year in employment an income gap of up to six percent develops between men and women graduates. Women are on the back foot from the very beginning.

“The YWCA is asking New Zealanders to register their support for the bill, which calls for openness and transparency on salaries across genders, at ‘demandequalpay.org.nz’. Please, go to the website and speak up for our women. Because if it’s not 0%, it’s not right,” says Ms Briggs.


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