Great feature at the Hand Mirror about different political candidates positions on issues important to women and power differences between women and men. They asked potential Members of Parliament these questions:
Question 1. What do you believe is currently the single biggest issue facing New Zealand women, and how would you like to address it if you are elected?
Question 2. New Zealand women are paid, on average, over $300 a week less than men, and the difference is worse for Maori and Pacific Island women. What do you propose as a first step towards closing the gender pay gap?
Question 3. Do you think NZ’s current approach to reproductive rights (abortion, contraception etc) is correct? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
If not, what changes would you want to make?
Question 4. It is said that for every rape or act of sexual abuse that is reported to the police, ten go unreported. Of those that are reported, only are small proportion are prosecuted, and an even smaller number of prosecutions are successful. If elected, what concrete steps will you take to change this level of tolerance towards rape and sexual abuse?
Question 5. Those who do the caring work in our society, paid and unpaid, are often the least recognized and the lowest paid, and they work the longest hours. What do you see as the priority to address these issues for those caring for our sick, our elderly and our children?
Question 6. The Ministry of Health has recently launched a campaign to encourage breastfeeding and is now recommending that babies be breastfeed to at least one year old:
What do you think the government could do to ensure that every woman who wants to breast feed can?
Question 7. What single measure do you think our political organizations could take to better encourage young women to be involved and take on leadership positions in our communities?
Question 8. Do you see domestic violence as an issue for women, for men, or for all New Zealanders? (Women, or Men, or all New Zealanders please)
If elected, what strategies would you like to pursue to eliminate domestic violence?
Question 9. Successive governments have effectively cut the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Do you believe people raising children alone should have sufficient financial support from the state so that they do not need to go to work until they believe that is the best choice for their family? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
Question 10. Women do the vast majority of cooking and shopping, and increases in food prices are a burden borne disproportionately by women. What do you think our government can or should do to ensure that everyone has access to good food?
Question 11. Do you have any further comments that you wish to make about the role of women in our society? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.
Check out the candidates answers here.
For an earlier survey answered by political parties rather than candidates, check out page 16 of the Lower Hutt Women’s Centre newsletter in September here.