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Women’s Ministry a Keeper

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Women’s Ministry a Keeper

18 November 2010

Retaining the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is a matter which the NCWNZ’s membership has also grappled with, reports National Council of Women of New Zealand.

“Some believe that logically, the whole of Government should be able to undertake the policy work currently in the hands of the Ministry,” says Elizabeth Bang, NCWNZ National President. “While other members feel that without the existence of the Ministry, striking the balance between women and men will be de-prioritised.”

The conditions which gave rise to the Ministry are as relevant today as they were back in the 1980’s. The gender pay gap, equal pay for work of equal value and a period of appreciably less woman-friendly legislation, ushered in the Ministry.

“If any change was needed where the Ministry of Women’s Affairs was concerned, it would be in allowing the Ministry to focus on the work to hand, rather than having to divert its resources to be the damage control agent for any Minister or Government not committing to the end of discrimination,” says Elizabeth Bang.

“Ultimately, for the MWA to be disestablished, women would need to trust that the whole of Government is committed to working for the elimination of discrimination against women,” concludes Elizabeth Bang. “Unfortunately, there is little evidence to support such trust.”

ENDS

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