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Health Leaders Acknowledge 120 Years of Votes for Women

Media Release
16 September 2013

Allied Health Leaders Acknowledge 120 Years of Votes for Women

Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand will be celebrating this week to mark 120 years since New Zealand women won the right to vote and is urging all employers in the health sector to give greater recognition to the value of female health professionals.

“120 years of votes for women is a real cause for celebration but is unfortunately being overshadowed by an unacceptable gender pay gap between men and women in the health workforce” said Petrina Turner-Benny, chair of Allied Health Aotearoa New Zealand whose members represent over 10,000 allied health professionals, of which an estimated 80% are women.

Figures show that there is an average 13% gender pay gap across District Health Boards (DHBs) with some DHBs individually showing an even greater unacceptable gap in excess of 30%*

“Every day tens of thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders rely on the support of allied health professionals to prevent distressing visits to the local Emergency Department (ED) or to avoid admission to a hospital bed.

“The soaring cost to District Health Boards of rising ED attendances and hospital admissions is, by their own evidence, unsustainable. The huge contribution of allied health professionals and women in supporting the most vulnerable of the population to maintain an independent life all too often goes unnoticed and needs to receive greater recognition in the form of equal pay.” Petrina says.

ENDS

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