International Women’s Day

Today, International Women’s Day is an opportunity to pause to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness and reflect about gender equality.

The Socialist Party of America is the first organisation recognised for declaring a National Women’s Day in 1909.  Following an international conference of working women in Copenhagen the first International Women’s Day was held in 1911 with rallies campaigning for women’s rights to work, vote, to be trained and educated, and to hold public office.

We have come a long way in the journey building on the actions of generations of women who have continued to battle for equality and equity – economic, social and political.

And the battle for economic parity is still very real.  

Traditional female vocations and professions are still paid less on average than traditional male vocations and professions.  Recent research showed a 9.5 per cent gender pay gap (the difference in median hourly earnings for men and women) in NZ.   Childbirth and childcare interrupts study, training and employment impacting on progression through their careers and not being considered for opportunities or higher paid positions due to family commitments.  The high percentage of women relying on part time, casual work and working for more than one employer are low paid and less likely to access Kiwisaver.   Data shows 75% of women stop their Kiwisaver contributions when they have a child compounded by very few employers opting to continue to pay the employer contribution during periods of parental leave.

The flow-on from those interruptions and lack of the same opportunities or level of income impacts on long-term economic stability leaving women significantly economically disadvantaged when they reach retirement age.  Women are less likely to own their own home and Maori women even less likely than non-Maori women.    Women relying solely on government superannuation cannot meet the demands of rising rents, or the costs of paying mortgages/rates/insurance if they own their own home.   Recent Australian research shows women over the age of 55 are the fastest growing group of homeless people in Australia.   Termed as hidden homelessness, the increasing number of older women unable to keep their home (rented or owned) is a real challenge for us now and into the future.   

Today is an opportunity to think about how those damning statistics will impact on our communities now and for future generations, and to consider what we can do to stem the slide into poverty for older women.

In unity,
Wattie Watson
National Secretary

Related Articles

VIEW ALL VIEW ALL

Breaking News

Tamaki Makaurau Flooding, State of Local Civil Defence Emergency

Last nights unprecedented weather event caused widespread havoc across the region with Fire and Emergency career and volunteer crews, operational support and 111 emergency dispatchers working to exhaustion, with all available FENZ resources at times being mobilised to incidents right across the region.


Season’s Greetings and Office Hours

The Auckland Local wishes all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. The Auckland Office will be closed from the afternoon of Friday 23 December 2022, reopening on Monday 9 January 2023.


Ratification Meeting next Tuesday 13th Dec at 5pm

As you will be well aware by now, we have finally reached an agreed term of settlement in the negotiation for a new CEA. The NZPFU is recommending members accept it and ratify the settlement offer. The National Committee has completely wrung out the sponge for every possible drop of benefit to members, and it's now our turn to act.