Stop portraying NZ women as victims

Published: Thu 19 Jul 2007 10:22 AM
Media statement
For immediate release
Thursday, 19 July 2007
Stop portraying NZ women as victims
Feminist groups that continue to portray New Zealand women as victims are not helping the social climate in New Zealand, but both Labour and National are too scared to say so, according to United Future’s Judy Turner.
“So a report written by the National Council of Women will tell the United Nations that New Zealand is experiencing ‘marked change for the worse’ for women,” she says.
“What a load of hogwash. This is simply representatives of the women’s industry trying to justify their roles and push for more funding. They argue that sexist jokes are increasingly common, and more needs to be done.
“National had a ‘PC eradicator’ two years ago. Now they are chasing the women’s vote and proposing that the taxpayer fork out to increase the funding given to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to expand their role and mandate.
“I have to say when you look around the world at countries where women are sold and traded like commodities; and rape victims are murdered by their own family in the name of ‘honour’, it’s a little embarrassing that we have a delegation heading to New York to say that sexism is an increasing problem in New Zealand and sexist jokes are common place.”
Mrs Turner says that it is time to stop portraying women as victims, and that men have just as many issues that need addressing as women. She argues that issues relating to both men and women should be considered on their merits and the facts.
“There are definitely still areas where women are behind, such as representation on boards, and I am very supportive of work being done to address these areas. But gender issues appear on both sides, and we need to better address the fact that only 18% of primary teachers are male and less than 1% of early childhood teachers.
“Men die years earlier, have poorer health outcomes, get more harshly punished in the justice system for the same crime done by a women and are falling behind at in all education outcomes. But these are hardly mentioned or addressed because the agenda has been set that we ever consider women as victims and it’s time this changed.

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