Government must prioritise equal pay for women

The National Government must make achieving equal pay for New Zealand women a priority in 2016, or risks further contributing to the growing gender pay gap, the Green Party said today.

The New Zealand Herald today revealed that the gender pay gap is the worst it’s been in almost 10 years, with the median wage for Kiwi men almost $8,000 more than Kiwi women.

“We are at a crisis point with the gender pay gap in this country,” said Green Party women’s issues spokesperson Jan Logie. “Women are still not being paid what they’re worth because of their gender.

“It’s 2016 ­and it’s high time the Government got with the programme on pay equity.

“The National Government only needs to look as far as its own ministries to find somewhere to start.

“A ministry and a minister need to be made responsible for developing and implementing a plan to close the gender pay gap – at the moment we don’t have either.

“We need proactive government action to close the gender pay gap, and the Government has an opportunity to do exactly that when its Joint Working Group on Pay Equity Principles reports back in March.

“This is a chance for the Government to get the ball rolling, and show Kiwi women it’s committed to reversing its do-nothing approach to closing the gender pay gap.

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

“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 a new year and it’s time for the National Government to be bold and be brave. Kiwi women are counting on them,” said Ms Logie.

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