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Sisters Already Doing It For Themselves

Sisters Already Doing It For Themselves

Monday 22 Sep 2003 Heather Roy Press Releases -- Other

ACT New Zealand Women's Affairs Spokesman Heather Roy today asked why Labour pushes so strongly for pay equity, when Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey announced that women are already catching up with men in the workforce.

"The `Work Trends' publication, launched by the Minister yesterday, says women's wages increased 17 percent from 1997, while men's increased only 12 percent - and, from 1997-2002, women's employment grew faster than that of men's," Mrs Roy said.

"Latest OECD figures show that women have overtaken men at every level of education in developed countries. As a result, women's wages are catching up - yet research now shows that it is our boys who are struggling in school. Labour campaigns for pay equity, to make things better for New Zealand women - but it is clearly our young males who need help.

"New Zealand women have had pay equality since the Equal Pay Act 1972 - what Labour forgets, or ignores, is that many women choose to work part-time to fit in with family life. While this trend continues, women's average wages - the measure used to compare the amounts men and women earn - will always be slightly lower.

"The Minister himself admits that working is an individual's choice, and has said that `women's employment patterns have become more like the traditional model of male employment'.

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"In light of his statements, Mr Maharey should convince Women's Affairs Minister Ruth Dyson to drop the social-engineering of pay equity. We women are doing fine on our own - why doesn't Labour spend more time concentrating on why our boys are failing in many aspects of life?" Mrs Roy said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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