Gordon Campbell has written an interesting column in my local community paper, the Hutt News. Sadly, can’t find a copy online at his Scoop blog so you’ll have to live with my summary.
Gordon is worried that New Zealand’s approach to the recession – the multi-billion stimulus package for “infrastructure” – shows no signs of gender equality. In fact, he says John Key’s signals so far – building roads, bridges, upgrading housing, schools and internet access – are not usually seen as “women’s work.”
He points out the Ministry of Women’s Affairs briefing to incoming Pansy Wong says nothing about women’s employment post or during recession. This is really not good enough.
Because it’s not just a question of whether jobs in sectors of the economy which predominately employ women should be stimulated, it’s also a question of whether gender pay parity will be considered in any stimulation going on.
Obama’s package reputably projects 49% of new jobs will go to women – but economists and commentators in the USA are asking whether the stimulation will help pay equity, and suggesting ways this could happen.
We’re behind on this debate here I think, and it’s complex. But with women’s work crucial to many household incomes, we need to start thinking about it. It’s not only a feminist issue, it’s a putting food on the table issue – for all of us.
*blog title comes straight from the Gordon Campbell article 🙂