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Suffrage Day – 126 years since women won the vote… surely it’s time for equal pay

September 19 marks the 126 anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New Zealand.

“Winning the right to vote was the first priority for our suffragists, their second priority was securing equal pay,” said National Council of Women President, Vanisa Dhiru. “The fact that we continue to campaign for equal pay for work of equal value 126 years on, is saddening,”

“We can have equal pay in New Zealand – the fact that we don’t is simply because too many employers are not paying women fairly. Sometimes this can be attributed to structural sexism within our society and the way we value some roles and not others. Fundamentally, paying working women fairly is a black and white issue. There is no grey. We either pay fairly or we don’t,” CTU Vice President Rachel Mackintosh said.

“Currently our politicians have draft law before them; the Equal Pay Amendment Bill. This Bill has the potential to make lives better, it has the potential to make New Zealand a fairer better place, where working people are paid fairly regardless of gender,” Dhiru said.

“This Suffrage Day we urge the Government to commit to ensuring the passage of good equal pay law,” concluded Mackintosh.