Women must ‘pull together’ in election year
A 100-point women’s call for action is being put forward to all nine political parties in preparation for the general election.
The call comes from former lawyer and journalist Catriona MacLennan who says she has serious concerns regarding women’s rights in New Zealand.
‘‘Progress has stalled at the moment. In some areas we may be going backwards.’’
The 10-page document covers a range of issues such as stopping violence against women, closing the gender pay gap, recognising and rewarding the importance of child-rearing and improving women’s advancement to the top of the political and spheres.
MacLennan expects the political parties to respond to her agenda, stating which parts they support and which policies they would implement.
‘‘Then we are going to set up a website and do a comparison of different parties’ policies so that voters, when they decide to give their votes, can have a look and make an informed decision.’’
MacLennan says women need to be ‘‘proactive and a bit more forceful’’ than they have been in regards to advocating for women’s rights.
‘‘I think it’s very very important
business for women all around New Zealand to work together especially in the election year.
‘‘We really need to try and pull together, and use our voting power together because otherwise I don’t think we are going to get politicians and the general public to pay any attention to us or make any changes,’’ she says.
A report by United Nations Women NZ found that one-third of New Zealand women experienced some form of violence from men in the period 2000-2010.
According to the Green Party, men earned 12 per cent more than women at the beginning of 2013.
Auckland Women’s Centre manager Leonie Morris says New Zealanders need to take action against the ‘‘appalling’’ inequality issues in society.
‘‘Women need to step up and recognise that change needs to occur,’’ she says.
The document is being sent out to women around the country, who are invited to add additional requests.
‘‘We are asking women if they want to add things or emphasise certain issues and then to go and talk to their local MPs or people in their local areas about it,’’ she says.
Action plan: Lawyer and journalist Catriona MacLennan says progress on women’s rights has stalled.