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Gender equality news - Rise in gender pay gap

On Balance – This week in gender equity

Gender equality news this week - Rise in gender pay gap | Young people & victim-blaming

02 October 2015

Kia ora koutou, welcome to On Balance - the National Council of Women of New Zealand's weekly round-up of the latest gender equality news, research and events. Please share it with anyone you think might be interested and let them know they can subscribe here.

News from around the country:

• As the amount Kiwis earn rose strongly in the year to June, so did the gender pay gap. Men saw a far bigger increase than women, with median hourly earnings for men up $1.06 to $24.07, while median hourly income for women rose up 50 cents an hour to $21.23. The gender pay gap is now at a six-year high having risen to 11.8 per cent in the year to June 30, compared to 9.9 per cent a year earlier.

• Following a petition by GetUp, the Australian government issued R&B singer Chris Brown with a notice of intent to refuse him a visa because of his history of domestic violence. However, campaigns such as the GetUp one have been described as “inconsistent at best, racist at worst” as they only ever target young black R&B and rap acts while ignoring the misogyny rampant in the white-dominated genres of folk, indie, metal, rock and so on

• New Zealand followed suit with it generating much debate throughout the week. Here is just a snippet of the commentary on Chris Brown’s admission into New Zealand –

o Three Dames, a Lady and a former chief executive of Women's Refuge held a press conference in support of Chris Brown

o Judith Collins stated “we've got enough wife-beaters in this country, [Brown] should just bugger off”. Green MP and spokesperson for women Jan Logie came out against Collins stating she “can't talk about Chris Brown without making her own apologies...and acknowledging the harm [she has done]”. Collins replied with a list of actions she took “to protect women and children during[her] time as minister [of Justice]

• The day after 22-year-old Parmita Rani left her controlling husband Mandeep Singh, he waited in the foyer of her central-Auckland language school to stab her to death. His actions prompted a High Court judge to say New Zealanders cannot allow men to continue believing they "have some sort of rights" over their partners

• Experts believe the brutality of attacks on women by their male partners is worsening and those on the front line of New Zealand's shameful family violence record are sending strong messages to the community to stop turning a blind eye

• A High Court ruling means that Bay of Plenty women will continue to be able to access abortion services in their own region

• Men appear to do better than their women counterparts, even when they work in traditional, female dominated industries

• Close to 150 people took part in the march down Kaikohe’s main street, carrying banners, placards and the life-size coffin, to raise awareness of the lasting damage caused by child sex abuse

• Women from all walks of life who make a difference to everyday Kiwis were celebrated and recognised as the finalists for the Women of Influence awards for 2015 were announced

• “Men who are violent to their partners exercise a high degree of control over all aspects of the women's lives. This does not suddenly end when the women and children move out” – Catriona MacLennan on asking the question “why doesn’t she leave?”

• The Broadcasting Standards Authority upheld four complaints against Mike Hosking for unfair remarks about the waitress whose ponytail was pulled by Prime Minister John Key

• Legal scholars are being sought to assist with a New Zealand Law Foundation-funded project to write alternative feminist judgments for a number of significant New Zealand cases across a broad range of legal issues

• Everybody’s pay should be based on their skills, responsibility, effort, and conditions of employment, not who the job is done by. Let a woman MP know that we are relying on them to pledge to ‘pay the job not the gender’

Latest research:

• Many young people partly blame victims for domestic violence, with more than half believing it is acceptable to track their partner electronically, an Australian study shows. Disturbingly, twenty per cent of the 16 – 24 year olds surveyed believe that women often say no when they mean yes

• Women who feel objectified may be more likely tobecome victims of sexual assault, a study of US college students suggests. It found that many women whofeelobjectified beginto obsessively monitor their looksfrom an outsider’s perspective. That can lead to decreased sexual assertiveness and a higher risk of becoming victimized

• If full gender parity were to be achieved, the contribution of women to global GDP growth could double between 2014 and 2025, adding as much as $28 trillion or 26 percent to the global economy. This is roughly the combined size of the economies of the United States and China today

• Women aren't in leadership positions because they just don't want the jobs as much as men do, says research from Harvard Business School. Women had no doubt they could "realistically attain" the same level of success as men, but they listed lower ideal positions indicating that they value power less than men

• A sexual conduct survey taken at Harvard University has shown the widespread sexual contact that exists within the college. About one sixth percent of female seniors reported completed or attempted penetration that was nonconsensual during their time at Harvard, when figures for nonconsensual touching were included, the above number almost doubled to 31.2 per cent

• Gender equality in Corporate America is happening so slowly that it could take more than a century for women to have the same number of top executive jobs as men, says a study from LeanIn.org and McKinsey & Company

• Companies with diverse executive boards outperform peers run by all-male boards, according to research from Grant Thornton. Analysis of the return on assets ratio (also known as return on investment) showed that, on average, companies with at least one female executive board member outperformed those with male-only boards in each of the three markets analysed

International news:

• Actress andwomen's rights activistEmma Watson spoke out about her experience with sexism in Hollywood, and provided some startling hard numbers in the process. "I have experienced sexism in that I have been directed by male directors 17 times and only twice by women," she said. "Of the producers I've worked with, 13 have been male and only one has been a woman"

• A British journalist was standing on a street corner shooting an intro describing the results of a recent study into street harassment when, on cue, a man pops into view yelling sexual obscenities at the reporter

• Hillary Clinton called Chinese President Xi Jinping “shameless” for hosting a United Nations summit on women’s rights after China’s detention of five prominent women’s rights activists earlier this year

• How do we get more dads to be the primary parent? Paternity leave, flexible working conditions, values, stereotypes and empowering men are just some of the ways to achieve this, says primary parent Andrew Moravcsik

• The New York Times goes inside the training sessions for University of Michigan resident advisers, who help students just a few years younger than they are navigate a world of sexual misconduct and identity politics

• In Australia, a new telephone abortion service that allows women to terminate their pregnancy without meeting a doctor or pharmacist face-to-face has been so overwhelmed byprospective patientsit cannot meet the demand, its medical director says

• A prominent US anti-abortion campaigner, who wantsdoctors whoperform abortionsto be executed, was blocked from entering Australiaafter online petitions and a last-minute government intervention

• Women in India are taking back the country's male-dominated streetsat nights, with a movement that's become known as #WhyLoiter

• Forbes released its annual list of the 400 wealthiest Americans and, as usual, women are heavily underrepresented. 51 female billionaires – or 13 percent – made the list, controlling $290 billion in total

• Indian women are chronically underutilizing banking services: only 43 per cent of Indian women had a bank account in 2014, compared to 75 per cent of women in China and 93 percent in South Korea. Bharatiya Mahila Bank has emerged to help fill in that gap by easing the process of opening accounts and offering loans at discounted rates to women

• Actress Jessica Chastain spoke out on the over-sexualisation of female action heroes

Events:

• On October 23, Superu is holding an event in Wellington to discuss the findings from the NZ Crime and Safety Survey (NZCASS). The presentation will explore interpersonal violence both by type of violence and by the victims’ relationship to the offender


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