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Government sanctioned sexism must stop

Katherine Rich National Party MP

23 October 2005

Government sanctioned sexism must stop

The Government must make clear to its departments and organisations that treating female employees and students differently because of their gender is not acceptable, says National Party MP Katherine Rich.

She is commenting following today's report that a female Unitec electrical services student was told she could not enter part of Auckland's Mason Clinic because she was a woman.

"Culture cannot be used as an automatic excuse to continue to make women feel uncomfortable or like second-class citizens in their work or study," says Mrs Rich.

"In modern New Zealand we cannot have government organisations allowing this to happen.

"Female corrections staff should not have to sit at the back during Department of Corrections ceremonies. Trainee female electricians should not have to be accompanied like children while doing basic wiring practice at a government-funded hospital.

"Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of the bus in 1950's Montgomery, Alabama. I wonder what she'd think about kiwi women being told to stand at the back of a Corrections Department poroporoaki?

"Josie Bullock and Adele Lewis are right to question why in 21st century New Zealand they are being treated differently because of their gender," says Mrs Rich.

ENDS

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