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Putting Women’s Poverty on the Election Agenda

Putting Women’s Poverty on the Election Agenda

Seeing women come through their doors struggling to make ends meet has prompted the Auckland Women’s Centre to hold a community forum ahead of the September General Election to discuss the poverty and discrimination many women experience in New Zealand.

Auckland Women’s Centre Manager, Leonie Morris, says “at the Auckland Women’s Centre we have seen first-hand women, mainly single mums, struggling to get by. We know that the child poverty rate for children in single parent households is 47%. Most of these parents are mums who also live in poverty and are parenting while experiencing high levels of stress. This is unfair and unacceptable in a country as wealthy as New Zealand.”

Ms Morris says the evening will provide an opportunity for the community to discuss the causing of women’s poverty, such as the gender pay gap, lack of parenting support, the amount of unpaid work women undertake, low benefit levels, as well as the housing crisis. It will also look at policies that challenge the main drivers of female poverty.

The gender pay gap sees Pākehā women earning an hourly wage that is 14% less than men while Māori women earn 24% less and Pasifika women 31% less than men. Ms Morris says “these appalling statistics show the need to look at the impact of racism, indigeneity, and migration, in addition to sexism, when discussing women’s poverty.”

The forum will be held on July 12th at 7pm in the Western Springs Community Hall and will feature speakers from Labour, Greens, Maori, Mana and NZ First parties. The National Party could not find a representative who was able to attend.

The evening will be a chance for the community to discuss women’s poverty with our politicians, with time for mingling over a cup of tea afterwards. People of all genders and walks of life are welcome to come along and join the discussion.


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