Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Women go backwards under National

The World Economic Forum has released their annual Global Gender Gap Report, showing New Zealand ranks fifth in the world for gender equality for the fourth year in a row. But while a high ranking should be a cause for some celebration, looking at the country profile [PDF] should give us cause for concern, because our actual score has dropped slightly since last year [PDF]. The reason? A decrease in economic equality, caused by drops in both the overall ratio of women's to men's incomes and in wage equality for similar work. After four years of upwards progress, women are now going backwards under National.

And sadly, this trend is likely to continue. Quite apart from the dismantling of the pay equity unit and the government's refusal to act on pay equity audits which showed significant discrimination in the education sector [PDF], its ECE cuts are likely to force women into more precarious work, or out of the workforce entirely. None of this is going to be good for women. But since when has National ever cared about them?