Gender pay gap no accident and needs a Government response

The staggering difference between the salaries of men and women within Government departments shows how much work needs to be done to close the gender pay gap, said the Green Party today.

The report from the State Services Commission (SSC) showed that in some departments men were paid up to 39 per cent more than women.

“The fact that there’s such a large pay gap shows how far we have to go on getting women a fair go,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“Women have been underpaid, and undervalued for too long. This is a calculated decision to pay some people less than others, and women deserve to be paid more than what they currently get.

“The Government’s Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles which is looking into the gender pay gap is a start, but it took court action from Kristine Bartlett to get the National Government to move. There is so much evidence staring them right in the face telling them to act. This latest SSC report just adds to that.

“Women shouldn’t have to rely upon court action to get paid what they are worth. We should have a Government recognising the gender pay gap, and taking decisive action to close it.

“The National Government should be setting a target for reducing the gap, year by year, and then create policies to make that happen.

“A ministry and a minister need to be made responsible for developing and implementing a plan to fixing this sexist problem – at the moment we have neither.                                                                                                 

“The SSC should be playing a leading role in this, but instead it has its own significant gender pay gap of 27 percent.

“We can close the gender pay gap in this country and ensure that every woman is paid what she’s worth, but we need a real commitment from the Government to make it happen.

“It’s time for the National Government to be bold and be fair, and ensure that women are paid more,” said Mrs Turei.

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