Friday, December 27, 2013

Do NZ women really get such a raw deal?

Here's a passage written earlier this year by a female academic:

New Zealand women are losing their human rights - the right to:

 •Life, liberty and security of person.

 •Not be discriminated against for any reason including gender.

 •Be equal before the law and, without any discrimination, to equal protection of the law

 •Free choice of employment, just and favourable conditions of work and protection against unemployment.

•Equal pay for equal work.

 •A standard of living adequate for the health and wellbeing of herself and her family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services.

 •Security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond her control.

I wonder if they would also like equal social spending?

Per capita social expenditures by age (males)

This Treasury working  paper only featured the graph for males but the tables that contain the data the graph(s) are made from are available from another paper.

I expected that for females the social expenditures per capita would be higher, but was surprised by how much.

Looking at three age groups here are the total social expenditures per capita:

20-24 male $6,654 female $8,674 (+30%)
40-44 male $9,044 female $11,559 (+28%)
60-64 male $9,526 female $11,743 (+23%)
80-84 male $24,459 female $25,787 (+5%)

Over their working age lifetimes females consistently cost the state considerably more. Even at 80-84 females cost more in Super and Disability Support Services.

Yet women's  participation in the workforce is also lower throughout their lifetimes.



Anonymous said...

senior female academic:

Senior Tutor an PhD student does not a senior academic make.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Noted thanks.

ZenTiger said...

"Yet women's participation in the workforce is also lower throughout their lifetimes."

I suspect when they participate less in the paid workforce, it's because they are often participating more in the unpaid one. It seems that where you are headed with this is that unless people's input can be measured by tax contribution, it doesn't count. Would it be fairer to ascribe a value to non-paid efforts and contributions to society using some other measure than mere tax?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Unpaid work has a value to whoever benefits from it. Efforts have been made to quantify it at a national level but it's a fairly woolly exercise. For instance, would it cost a husband more for outsourced housekeeping and childcare than what he effectively pays his wife? Could be yes, could be no.

My point is that when feminists demand strict equality of pay or political representation or corporate participation (all a nonsense) they should be careful where it leads.