Women’s Rights

Preamble

The Alliance is striving to build a tolerant society in which racism, sectarianism, homophobia, ageism and discrimination against women and people with disabilities have no place. We envisage a society where each individual’s contribution is valued and diversity is considered a strength. More than 100 years after New Zealand women won the right to vote, there is still a considerable way to go until women have real equality.

  • Women take home significantly less pay than men, especially Maori and Pacific women.

  • Although women are participating in paid work in ever increasing numbers, there has been very little adaptation by the rest of society to their roles as employee and mother; women also carry out most of unpaid work in our community.

  • Women live longer than men, but have poorer physical and mental health.

  • Despite a few high-profile women, under-representation continues at all levels of key decision-making in New Zealand.

  • The brunt of sexual and physical violence in the home and the workplace continues to be born by women and children.

We stand for the following policies

  • Children: Eliminate child poverty through increased family income ($15 minimum wage and an immediate increase in benefits; first $10,000 income to be tax-free), a universal family benefit of $15 a week per child, free childcare for all 3 and 4 year olds and free school meals.

  • Equal educational opportunities: Wipe student debt, provide a living allowance for all students and remove tuition fees.

  • Training: Provide opportunities for women to participate at all levels in the full range of occupations in the public sector and link training to funding in women-dominated industries such as aged care; more women Modern Apprentices.

  • Pay equity: Extend pay equity to the private sector. Pay inequities will also be reduced when we have free childcare, after-school care and when the work that women commonly do is rewarded with decent pay.

  • Paid Parental Leave: 12 months paid parental leave for primary caregivers and their partners should have 2 weeks paid parental leave.

  • Work/life balance: Recognise the contribution of women in unpaid work. Introduce work/life balance provisions to the minimum code (e.g. right to part-time work) to address workers’ family responsibilities.

  • Women’s health:Accessible and culturally sensitive national cervical and breast screening programmes; a choice of qualified birth attendants for women and adequate post-natal care; women-centred mental health services; positive information on sexual and reproductive health and free contraception; adopt the Abortion Supervisory Committee’s recommendation that all medical practitioners may become certifying consultants for termination purposes.

  • Older people: End means-testing of those requiring residential care and properly fund aged care services; pay Government Super at 72.5% of the average wage; subsidise telephones and transport for senior citizens; no taxes on first $10,000 income which benefits pensioners who are likely to be women.

  • End violence against women: More effective strategies and increased funding to protect women from violence.