On Monday, the Civilian “reported” that the Government plans to pass legislation to end 2016 early. The Green Party will be supporting this bill. Just in the last week, we’ve had a 7.8 quake and hundreds of aftershocks, floods, Donald Trump, news of his transition team, Brian Tamaki sharing his ‘wisdom’ and a tornado. Oh, and there’s snow on the way. It really is time to put this year out of its misery.
Not only is ending 2016 immediately an essential act for our collective wellbeing, it would have the added bonus of fixing (almost) the imbalance between the average men and women’s pay. From Tuesday women have effectively been working for nothing as the average woman earns 13% less than the average man. This kind of inequality led thousands of women in Iceland to strike for equal pay. Clearly, we don’t need that kind of civil unrest in Aotearoa at this time.
Yesterday I asked the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety when the government was going to sign off on the pay equity principles which we thought were essential to fix this terrible inequality. His answers were a fabulous example of mansplaining and prevarication. I just couldn’t understand why he didn’t seem excited about the opportunity to address this historic and significant underpayment of women.
After all, addressing the gender pay imbalance would show women that their work is valued, and generally improve the status of women in society. Not to mention, it would make a massive dent in child poverty because so many families in poverty are headed by women raising children alone.
But I get it now, they’re going to address it by ending the year early. Genius! I withdraw all criticism. This is clearly the most efficient way to address this core social problem. The Green Party is happy to support this.
Hats off to the government. 👍