advocacy for specialised refuges and housing for women

Women’s Election Agenda Aotearoa — May 2014 Update

The Women’s Electoral Agenda Aotearoa 2014 is a 100 point manifesto aimed at making significant gains for women in relation to family incomes, violence against women, the workforce, disability issues, Wahine Maori, and parenting. The Agenda’s goal is to make real progress towards gender equality in Aotearoa, thereby improving the lives of all women and children. See the 100 point manifesto here.

We sent the electoral Agenda out to the nine main political parties.  To date we have received three formal responses:

One wonderful response.  The Maori Party has read the entire document, identified where its policies align with the agenda, and changed some of its policies to reflect our suggestions.  It has not, however, adopted any of the recommendations specific to disabled women.   See the Maori Party response here.

Minister of Women’s Affairs and National Party MP Jo Goodhew has said she will provide a detailed response by May 19.  We will send out an update when we receive this.

United Future has responded.  It has sent us its 2011 election manifesto, saying that it is a small party and does not have the resources to respond to all of the Agenda’s 100 points.  We have looked at United Future’s manifesto and can report that it is entirely male focused – and not all men – just those who hunt, fish and believe that women are barely worthy of mention.  Even the party’s paid parental leave policy is about men.  No mention of mothers.  The times that women are mentioned:

  • Rename and refocus the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to the Ministry of Gender Affairs, recognising that the specific needs of both genders need to be addressed.
  • Recognise that men and women are both perpetrators and victims and target family violence policy accordingly.
  • End gender discrimination, recognising that both women and men can face unwelcome discrimination.

The Labour Party’s women’s affairs spokesperson told one of us informally that the party would respond to our letter but that it would take time to go through the detail of the Agenda. We are still awaiting responses from the rest of the nine political parties to which the letter was sent.

Sign up to our Facebook page and promote the Agenda to your friends

Remember – this is how you and your organisation can use the Agenda:

  1. First – feel free to add your own concerns – or to highlight the issues that are most important to you.
  2. Send it out to political party leaders – ask for their endorsement and response.
  3. Send it out to your local MP.  Ask for their endorsement and response.
  4. Run a political meeting and ask all of the candidates  in your area about the issues in the Agenda
  5. Raise the issues in your local women’s organisations and ask each organisation to speak on behalf of the Agenda
  6. Talk to people you know in political parties and ask them to promote the Agenda within their party
  7. Sign up to our Facebook page and promote the Agenda to your friends