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Women in Parliament

Filed under: General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 10:50 am Wed 15th October 2008

FYI, my email to Elections NZ, concerning their special section naming all women who have served in parliament:

I notice that your website has a special section entitled “Women in Parliament 1933-2005”. This section stands out because there is no similar section for other subgroups in parliament. There is a section about the number of Maori, Pacific and Asian MP’s but the information that provides is much less extensive than the women’s section; for example, the women’s section names every single woman who has served in parliament, her party, term of office etc.

While the increase in women’s political participation may be interesting, it is no more so than that of other sub-groups categorized by race, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or disability. Your favouritism towards women’s participation treats their contribution in parliament as somehow better, more significant or more laudable than that of men or other subgroups. I do not believe a reasonable case could be made that women’s contribution has been superior or especially laudable, and I object to the sexism demonstrated on your web site. A special women’s section in the absence of similar sections for other sub-groups denigrates the contribution of all others who have served in parliament.

I would like to know where the directive or initiative came from for this special treatment of women on your web site, and how maintenance of this sexist propaganda is funded.


  1. Excellent point Hans. Well spotted. It is also innacurate. One female anyway is shown as continuing to this election where in reality she has announced her retirement (Jill Pettis)

    In 2005 she gained office via the list only after achieving the dubious distinction of turning about a 3000 majority into a 2000 vote defeat. (Both figures approximate)

    Comment by Alastair — Wed 15th October 2008 @ 11:11 am

  2. Well spotted- and excellent comment.
    Having women MP’s has certainly been a force for peace and love in the world-
    Since women were given the vote, and were able to stand for parliament, we have only had two major world wars, the “cold war”, the great depression, plus smaller wars, genocides, and various unpleasantness.
    It has been said that those who start wars are rarely the ones who have to fight them.

    Comment by John Brett — Wed 15th October 2008 @ 7:07 pm

  3. I have as yet had no reply to my correspondence. Will keep all informed.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 23rd October 2008 @ 10:01 am

  4. Maybe a hurry up letter with the hint there may be a press release!

    Comment by Alastair — Thu 23rd October 2008 @ 7:39 pm

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