I was appalled to hear of a radio station competition to ‘win a wife’. It is a reminder that there is still an attitude towards women in NZ that is deeply troubling – that they are commodities to buy and to own. The website includes a form to fill in and says “If you’re interested in holy matrimony with a potentially hot foreign chick, fill it out to the best of your abilities”
I, like many others I imagine, would have thought these sorts of competitions were from a bygone era. The reality is that there is still a long way to go to achieving genuine equality for women in NZ. There are still stereotypes, put downs and discrimination.
In addition women, on average, earn less, own less and work longer hours (paid and unpaid work). Violent crimes against women – domestic and sexual violence - are still significant and persistent. We may have been the first country where women gained the right to vote, and we have seen women in the highest positions in the land, but there is still a lot to achieve.
I have recently become Labour’s Women’s Affairs Spokesperson and I will carry on the good job done by my colleague Sue Moroney in providing a strong voice for women.
Back to the beginning of this post - you may say that I don’t have a sense of humour. I can assure you I do but marriage is about an important relationship not a transaction. Women are not commodities!