12 Nov 2015

Women's pay continues to trail men's - paper

4:45 pm on 12 November 2015

Women generally work in lower paid industries, despite about 60 percent having tertiary education, a new paper on gender equality has found.

A man and two women in business dress stand on a balcony in an office.

Photo: 123RF

The National Council of Women today released a paper detailing the extent of which women continued to trail behind men.

It found the gender pay gap remained between 11.8 and 14 percent, and only 14 percent of directors on the NZX top 100 companies were women.

It also found women were one-and-a-half times more likely than men to live in a household with less than $30,000 annual income.

As well, one in four women experienced domestic or sexual violence in their lifetime.

The paper made 12 key recommendations for action, including annually monitoring equality and having better gender analysis in government policies.

Council president Rae Duff said progress to achieve equality was slow and uneven, and society needed to remove sexist barriers.

Sexism, bias and stereotypes were ingrained, with inequality occurring at all levels, including the choice of toys being bought for children, she said.

"We have girls wearing pink and boys wearing blue. We want to make it so everybody can choose what they want to do to determine their own future without being limited by the stereotypes of society."

The government had a hard task to create policy aimed at changing society's attitudes to women but it needed to be done to tackle inequality, she said.

Minister for Women Louise Upston welcomed the paper and said the government was committed to improving the lives of women and girls.

"This report aligns with the government's focus to broaden women's choices and opportunities."

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