Greens and Cabinet gender equality

Two years ago James Shaw stated that Greens will ensure gender balance in Cabinet

The Green Party is today announcing that, in Government, it will ensure half of all Green Cabinet Ministers are women, and will call on other members of any coalition Government it is involved in to do the same.

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw announced to the CTU conference in Wellington today that the Green Party would put gender equality at the heart of any Government it is involved in, starting with equal representation in Cabinet.

“Our hope is that by leading by example, and ensuring gender equality at the Cabinet table, the Green Party can stimulate and support a wave of gender equity reforms for women who work,” Mr Shaw said.

“A Government with 70 percent of its Ministers men isn’t good for women and it isn’t good for New Zealand.

“By committing to a gender balance in Cabinet, the Green Party won’t immediately fix the inequalities women are forced to deal with at work every day, but it will show that we are committed to gender equality everywhere, starting with where we work ourselves,” Mr Shaw said.

I don’t know how much priority the Greens will put on this policy in coalition negotiations.

The Greens haven’t achieved gender equality in their own caucus. They campaigned on having a line up dominated by females, and have ended up with two male MPs and six female MPs.

In contrast NZ First is slanted the other way, with two female MPs to seven male MPs, so I guess there is balance between the two of them.

Labour have more female MPs this time ( I count 21 of their 46 MPs as female), but most of their experienced MPs likely to fill Cabinet positions are male. Three of their top ten MPs are female, and just seven of their top twenty.

So gender balance in a Labour-NZ First-Green government would be difficult to achieve.

Overall the new Parliament is slanted male, still.  From Kiwiblog The 52nd New Zealand Parliament Demographics:

Gender

  • 74 (-8) Males, 62% (-6%)
  • 46 (+7) Females, 38% (+6%)

Seven of National’s top twenty MPs are female so if they form a Cabinet with NZ First there will be gender imbalance.

Gender equality in Cabinet is worth aiming for, but it will continue to take time. Forcing it by promoting female MPs over more experienced male MPs is not a good idea.

And overbalancing by having a party caucus with female MPs is not going to help overall gender equality.

34 Comments

  1. David

     /  October 9, 2017

    It looks like we may have a female PM and alongside the chief justice and the governor general and the Queen we are suffering a terribly embarrasing gender imbalance already, our head spook is a woman too its just all getting a bit out of hand and I look forward to Shaw making this part of the coalition deal.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  October 9, 2017

      aw you poor wee ‘terribly embarrassed’ hand-wringing snowflaky fella… your white male privilege’s feeling a bit threatened eh …

      Rather than whining like a mosquito about embarrassment, why don’t you use your privilege to begin to pursue a just world, challenging the assumptions about who’s benign and who’s competent.

      You could always leverage those straight, white advantages to provide access to those who don’t yet enjoy it, and to help confront the prejudices of race, gender identity and expression, ability, and sexual orientation that many in our culture take for granted…. or is social justice an alien concept to you?

      • David

         /  October 9, 2017

        “Rather than whining like a mosquito about embarrassment, why don’t you use your privilege to begin to pursue a just world, challenging the assumptions about who’s benign and who’s competent.”

        Great idea! How about we introduce a law to make it compulsory that half of all teachers and nurses are men. We can also make it the law that half of all construction & sewage workers are women.

        Social Justice, just like that!

        • Kevin

           /  October 9, 2017

          Why stop there? Let’s make it so that half of suicides are women too!

        • Conspiratoor

           /  October 9, 2017

          This is good stuff. We need all genders given due recognition. I’m referring to all those who class themselves as neither men nor women. Now im not up with the names of all these various genders but in the spirit of enforcing equality for all let’s give em all a spot at the trough.

          In fact I’m thinking I feel better about myself if hitherto I become an aethergender– A gender that feels very wide, commanding, breathtaking and powerful.

          Full list here…

          https://ageofshitlords.com/list-of-all-tumblr-genders-so-far

          • Gezza

             /  October 9, 2017

            Don’t be ridiculous!
            That’s Corky’s job.

  2. Trevors_elbow

     /  October 9, 2017

    Ability and experience should be the first requirements for leadership roles…

    Wedding tackle should be down the list of for decision making when allocating ministerial roles

    It’s 2017… things have moved markedly on this front from the 1970s… women are leaders in many arenas….

    But I suppose Jimmy Shaw needs to nurture signal to Shaw up his position as party leader (male co leader)

    • Blazer

       /  October 9, 2017

      how can you appoint ministers to portfolio’s when they admit they know NOTHING about them…then?

      • Trevors_elbow

         /  October 9, 2017

        You know nothing about many things Blazer and yet you comment on many of those things…..

        Experience can be broad than narrow sector experience… detail can be learnt…. a track record of quick learning and broad management experience can prepare you for many things.

        Being a 20 something with a degree is not cabinet level ready…

        • Blazer

           /  October 9, 2017

          You are backpedaling as usual and being subjective and disrespectful. .as well.

          • Trevors_elbow

             /  October 9, 2017

            Oh please go find a mirror and have a good look…. mind you, you may blind yourself with your own self proclaimed brilliance….

            For specialist portfolios like health being from that sector is an advantage in some ways but is a hindrance in many others (sector capture etc )
            … which you of course would understand. Sometimes the outsider viewpoint is necessary to shift entrenched thinking

            • Blazer

               /  October 9, 2017

              enlighten me..tell me what I comment on,that I know nothing…about.

  3. Corky

     /  October 9, 2017

    If the Greens insist on this crap above ability and experience, they will drink from the Chalice of defeat time and time again.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  October 9, 2017

      Insisting on “this crap above ability and experience”, Corky?

      In other words, you’ve defined the abilities and experiences of women against the standard of able white, heterosexual, cis-gender males, and from which any deviation is viewed as a defect.

      In your world everyone else always has to be aware of that which they “lack,” having to exert extraordinary amounts of energy proving they can compensate for the deficit, make it a non-factor. They get no benefit of the doubt:

      – Black men have to “prove” that they’re not a threat on the street.

      – Women have to work “twice as hard” as any man to prove their competence on the job.

      – LGBTQ people have to “prove” that they’re not deviants, whose very presence is threatening to children or women in bathrooms.

      – Muslims? Well in Corkyland they’re a completely lost cause…

      Intolerant much…!

      • David

         /  October 9, 2017

        “– Black men have to “prove” that they’re not a threat on the street.”

        They would be helped in this process by not being a group that attacks whites at a rate 27x greater than vice-versa.

        • Corky

           /  October 9, 2017

          Yep, the unreported blatant racism of blacks against whites. In Joe’s world whitey is always the problem.

          • Gezza

             /  October 9, 2017

            Christ! 😮

            Is this all happening outside your compound Corks? 😕

      • Corky

         /  October 9, 2017

        You really do belong at ‘The Standard.’

        What about…Righties have to prove they aren’t greedy? Maoris have to prove they can find hangi stones in the moon light?

        Honesty, I hope your post is piss taking because if you’re serious you have given everyone a glimpse into the twisted reasoning and logic of a Leftie.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  October 9, 2017

          Of course Joe’s serious. Lefties have no sense of humour. The only thing they find remotely funny is slagging off Trump.

          • Mefrostate

             /  October 9, 2017

            I’ve noticed you only complain about lefties being boring when they get into thoughtful discussions. Ironically that makes you the biggest joke here.

      • Kevin

         /  October 9, 2017

        “In other words, you’ve defined the abilities and experiences of women against the standard of able white, heterosexual, cis-gender males, and from which any deviation is viewed as a defect.”

        I call it competence vs just having the right bits.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  October 9, 2017

    I guess half of zero will be zero?

  5. How very 70s. If women don’t want to make the commitment of time and the extra work and stress of being a minister, will they be forced to by Mr Shaw ?

    The oldie about women needing to be twice as good etc wasn’t true in the 70s and it’s not true now-it’s a sweeping generalisation. It certainly hasn’t been the case anywhere that I have worked or heard of.How can someone always work twice as hard in a shop or office where everyone’s doing the same work ?

    • Blazer

       /  October 9, 2017

      well C.E.O’s must work about 300 times harder than they did in the 80’s ,looking at comparative salaries with…today.

    • Fight4NZ

       /  October 9, 2017

      Your’re right, it isn’t really true. Almost all the women in the many offices I have worked in or visited could work 3, 4 or 5 times harder than the men and still have absolutely no chance of displacing the default privileged right-wing white old boys whose sense of entitlement vastly out-weighed their competence and effort combined. That’s why all NZs biggest companies have failed over the years – the last remnant of Fletchers floundering under the weight of the ‘experienced’ management elite it props up as we speak. And the funny thing is, despite this appalling track record, they think they are the only ones qualified to tell everyone else how to run the country.

      • Gezza

         /  October 9, 2017

        Our first female Departmental Head was an utter & total disaster.
        Her male predecessors, & her successors were only useless.

  6. Zedd

     /  October 9, 2017

    If they are so into sex-equality, why is there 6fem & 2mal in the green MPs ?
    I hear the thing about giving priority to ability, but thats more right-wing ??

    way back, i remember they used ‘affirmative action’ to restore a balance, maybe they need to relook at this, before they do final sign off (new parliament announced) just a thought :/