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Maori Women's Pay Gap Under the Spotlight

Maori Women's Pay Gap Under the Spotlight

Union and community groups will come together on Friday with the launch of a new publicity campaign highlighting the issue of Pay Equity. The Coalition for Equal Value Equal Pay (CEVEP) and the Council of Trade Unions will be hosting the launch of the latest poster targeting the issue.

The poster features two young Maori children with the caption “Prepare your daughter for working life – pay her less pocket money than your son.”

“After 30 years of equal pay law women’s average total weekly earnings are 23% lower than men's,” says CTU Vice President Darien Fenton.

“Bad as that gap is, the pay gap for Maori and Pacific Island women is even worse. Maori women earn just 74% of mens' average hourly earnings while Pacific Island women earn just 70%.”

“It is intolerable that working women should continue to be so undervalued. It is shameful that Maori and Pacific Island women earn so little”.

Darien Fenton says the destruction of national employment conditions during the 1990’s contributed to the pay gap and that new pay equity mechanisms are needed to close the gap.

“The so called “free market” has conspicuously failed to deliver pay equity for working women in this country.

“The historical concentration of women into caring and support based work left them undervalued and underpaid. Occupations such as caregiving, retail, nursing and cleaning continue to be dominated by working women.”

Darien Fenton says unions and community groups have welcomed the initiative of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in calling for submissions on ways to correct the problem and eliminate the pay gap.

“We need to find new ways to correct old problems.”

Ariana and Isiah Pila the children featured in the poster will join CEVEP and the CTU at the launch this Friday at 12.00 noon at the CTU, 7th Floor NZEI house, 178 Willis St, Wellington.

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