More urgency needed to close Gender Pay Gap

Wage-gender-gap

“The latest statistics indicate that steps being taken to reduce the gender pay gap are not working fast enough,” the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) President Barbara Arnold said today.

Barbara Arnold was commenting on figures just released by Statistics New Zealand showing that the gender gap has increased in the year to September.

“In February, the then Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs said that, “a gender pay gap has no place in a modern economy where skills are a key driver of innovation and productivity”. Yet since then there has been very little movement in the size of the gap. And according to the latest data, that movement is in the wrong direction.

“Closing the gender pay gap should be a higher priority for the Government. At the 39th session of CEDAW (the Convention against the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women) – a treaty to which New Zealand is a party, the international monitoring committee recommended that the Government, “enact and implement comprehensive laws guaranteeing the substantive equality of women with men in both the public and private sectors, especially in regard to equal pay and equal opportunity in employment”,” Barbara Arnold said.

Among the Committee’s recommendations were measures such as industry-wide job evaluations to ensure equal pay for women performing work of equal value.

“NCWNZ believes that the time has come for the Government to match its words with deeds. The goal is substantive equality for New Zealand women. If the latest statistics are accurate, this goal appears to be receding,” concluded Barbara Arnold.

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