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Commission urges action over growing gender pay gap

Graphic: Graphic depicting the gender pay gap

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission says the country cannot continue with “business as usual”, with women paid nearly 12% less than men.

The New Zealand Human Rights Commission says the country cannot continue with "business as usual" in the wake of the latest statistics revealing the nation's gender pay gap is at a six-year high, up to 11.8% from 9.9% this time last year.

"The fastest way to reduce our entrenched gender pay gap is to improve the wages of those New Zealanders in the lowest paid jobs, the overwhelming majority of whom are women," said Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue.

"Two-thirds of adult minimum wage earners in 2014 were women. The Aged Care Workforce Survey revealed that close to two-thirds of aged care workers were also the sole earners for their families: closing the gender gap will also help our children."

Gender equality isn't a women's issue it's a human issue and a human rights issue.

New Zealand Human Rights Commission Logo Dr Jackie Blue, EEO Commissioner, New Zealand Human Rights Commission

The Commission's Tracking Equality at Work also revealed women and young people are more likely to be paid less than any other New Zealand workers. Pacific women were at the bottom of the pay ladder.

"Our most marginalised group of workers – young women aged 15-24 – are paid less than half the average hourly wage of our least marginalised group of workers, Pakeha/European men aged 45-64," said Dr Blue.

"Gender equality isn't a women's issue it's a human issue and a human rights issue. We need to normalise gender equality so it becomes a reality for everyday New Zealanders," she said.

Date: 2 October 2015

Source: New Zealand Human Rights Commission


Image credits

  1. Graphic depicting the gender pay gap - Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1MbBOiU