Nov. 8, 2017 "World's youngest female leader targets equal pay for women in the public service": Today I found this article by Matthew Brockett and Paul Allen in the Globe and Mail:
The first country to give women the vote has another world-leading ambition: closing the gender pay gap.
New Zealand ranked ninth out of 144 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report for 2017, well ahead of neighboring Australia, which placed 35th. While its pay gap has dropped to 9.4 percent this year from 16.2 percent in 1998, according to Statistics New Zealand data, the Ministry for Women says progress on closing it has stalled in the last decade.
“I think these global conversations are incredibly important, but they’re only precursors to what needs to follow, and that is a change in culture, a change in behavior,” she said. “There is a need for conversations with young people in particular around issues of consent, healthy relationships.”
Since giving women the vote in 1893, New Zealand has been something of a trailblazer in terms of equal rights. The country’s gender pay gap is half the U.K.’s 18 percent, Ardern is the country’s third female prime minister, and the Governor General and Chief Justice are also women.
“We’re going backwards,” said National Council of Women President Vanisa Dhiru. “In New Zealand we like to think we’re pretty equal -- we were the first country to give women the vote after all -- but we’re not.”
The government needs to make it easier for people to make claims for equal pay through new legislation and additional resources, particularly for those at the lower end of female-dominated occupations, Dhiru said.
Ardern, who cites inequality as one of the reasons she entered politics, said she will lead “an active government” that “will intervene where there are failures.”
She said closing the gender pay gap among the 46,000 core public service workers will send a strong signal to the private sector to follow suit.
“In 2017, we cannot continue to send a message to young women that they can expect to be paid 10 percent less simply for their gender,” Ardern said. “That is not a message that can continue.”
Nov. 10, 2017 "Engage men to bridge the gender gap": Today I found this article by Steven Murphy in the Globe and Mail: