New Zealand to celebrate women's voting rights

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-18 17:56:58|Editor: An
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WELLINGTON, Sept. 18 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand Women's Minister Paula Bennett is encouraging all New Zealanders to take some time on Tuesday, Suffrage Day, to reflect on women's rights in New Zealand.

"I'm so proud to live in a country that was the first in the world to give women the vote. I hope all New Zealanders take time to reflect on that tomorrow and just how far we've come," Bennett said in a release on Monday.

The government has continued to support women, Bennett said, adding that in the public sector, 45 percent of people on state sector boards are women, 46 percent of whom are in senior leadership roles in the public service.

New Zealand has introduced pay equity principles and settled a 2 billion-NZ dollar (1.46 billion-U.S. dollar) pay equity claim for 55,000 care and support workers, she said.

"We still have so much more to achieve though. We have a 9.4 percent Gender Pay Gap, which recently reduced from 12 percent," Bennett said, adding that they are working with the private sector to encourage them to measure their Gender Pay Gap and to work to reduce it.

"I'm often asked why we have a Ministry for Women and not a Ministry for Men. My answer is simple: when we no longer have a Gender Pay Gap and women aren't predominantly the victims of domestic and sexual violence, I'll happily shut it down," she said.

"Until then, we should continue to focus on improving the lives on women and girls in this country," said the minister, adding that anniversaries like the Suffrage Day are the perfect time to reflect on that.