Bring the women’s portfolio back into Cabinet

The Green Party is calling on Prime Minister John Key to bring the women’s portfolio back into Cabinet.

While portfolios like racing remain with Ministers inside Cabinet, the women’s portfolio has been locked out since John Key removed it from Cabinet in 2011.

“To mark International Women’s Day today, John Key could signal a commitment to reverse the decline for women that’s occurred under his Government by elevating the women’s portfolio to a Cabinet-level position,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“Since National has been in power, New Zealand’s gender pay gap has increased, reporting of domestic and sexual violence is up, child poverty is up, and the percentage of women in senior executive positions is down.

“The Ministry for Women is the government’s principle advisor on achieving better outcomes for women. The Minister needs to be at the decision making table.

“The Cabinet position isn’t the be all and end all, but the 2011 demotion of the women’s portfolio by John Key is symptomatic of a Government that is not giving women’s issues the priority that they deserve.

“It says volumes about a Government’s priorities that the Minister of Racing is in Cabinet, but the Minister for Women is not.

“The National Government is not focused on women, which could be due in part to the fact that its Cabinet is 70 percent men.  The Green Party is committed to gender equality in Cabinet, because we believe a more representative Cabinet will make better decisions.

“It’s hard to imagine that we would have achieved paid parental leave if the women’s portfolio wasn’t in Cabinet at the time,” Ms Logie said.

More and more businesses in New Zealand don’t have any women in management, according to the latest international Grant Thornton report released today to mark International Women’s Day.

“Women are not seeing themselves reflected in this Government. John Key can change that today,” Ms Logie said.

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