YWCA Auckland launching pay equity campaign

Press Release – Pay Equity Challenge Coalition
A YWCA Auckland campaign will inspire a new generation of New Zealanders to take action on pay equity, the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition said today.

YWCA Auckland has today launched the Demand Equal Pay television and print campaign.

The campaign is calling on Parliament to enforce commitments made to pay equity in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), signed and ratified by New Zealand in the 1980s.

YWCA is a member of the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition, and Coalition spokesperson Angela McLeod said their campaign was very timely.

“Just this month we had new figures showing that the gender pay gap has widened – from 12.85% in September 2011 to 14.18% in September 2012,” she said.

“Pay equity is a structural problem that requires structural solutions. Dr Judy McGregor’s proposed bill is an important step.”

“But first, we need the government to own up to the problem. We won’t build a stronger economy and fairer society without valuing the contribution of women, and a real commitment to equal pay and pay equity.”

“Well done YWCA Auckland on a great campaign. We look forward to supporting it in the coming weeks,” Angela McLeod said.

Ends.
About the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition
The Pay Equity Challenge Coalition is a broad coalition of community, employer, union and academic groups who are committed to putting pay equity issues back on the Government’s and New Zealand’s agenda. http://payequity.wordpress.com

Press Release – YWCA
YWCA Auckland has today launched a controversial campaign to highlight the pay disparity that exists between genders in New Zealand. A number of recent research findings and reports show that, on average, women in New Zealand are paid at least 10% less than their male counterparts, and the gap is widening. To put it into perspective a 10% pay disparity means women working fulltime in New Zealand would effectively stop being paid from today, while men similarly employed would stay on the payroll until the end of year.

According to the 2012 Statistics NZ Quarterly Employment Survey, a 10% gender pay gap is conservative; suggesting the disparity in earnings has actually increased to 14.18% in 2012. This is up 1.3% from 12.85% in the year to September 2012.

YWCA Auckland President Kate Sutton says the aim of the ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign is to urge the Government to introduce the Pay Equality Bill, drafted by Dr Judy McGregor (Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner), into Parliament for its first reading.

Ms Sutton adds the pay inequality situation in New Zealand is a damning indictment for a country famous for being the first in the world to enfranchise adult women.

“We were the first country to give women the vote, yet over a century later, we are still battling to get women paid as much as men do. It doesn’t make sense. Women being treated so unfairly have not gone unnoticed by the United Nations, which has urged the New Zealand Government to address the gender pay gap. But now we need the public’s help to get the Government to take action,” says Ms Sutton.

The YWCA Auckland’s ‘Demand Equal Pay’ campaign includes a hard hitting TV ad on TVNZ which highlights the absurdity of pay disparity based on gender. The TV campaign is supported by a number of full page press and radio spots scheduled to run in the coming weeks.
Monica Briggs, CEO of the YWCA Auckland, says she hopes the campaign will serve as a call to arms and alert all New Zealanders to this widespread issue which is one pivoting around fairness for all.

“This issue has been swept under the carpet for too long. The invisible discrimination begins the moment women enter the workforce as graduates. Although their student debt may be equal to male students’, their entry-level wages often are not. After only one year in employment an income gap of up to six percent develops between men and women graduates. Women are on the back foot from the very beginning.

“The YWCA is asking New Zealanders to register their support for the bill, which calls for openness and transparency on salaries across genders, at ‘demandequalpay.org.nz’. Please, go to the website and speak up for our women. Because if it’s not 0%, it’s not right,” says Ms Briggs.

 

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