Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Election Survey: Rayna Fahey (Greens)

Rayna Fahey is a list-only candidate for the Greens, at number 27 on the Greens party list, and is based in Melbourne. She may be more commonly known to regular readers as kakariki, or from her blog, Radical Cross Stitch. Her reply to our election survey is below, and a full index of all responses to date is over here.

The Questions & Answers
Question 1. What do you believe is currently the single biggest issue facing New Zealand women, and how would you like to address it if you are elected?
I think the single biggest immediate issue would have to be violence against women. What the Greens would do to address this issue is laid out in our answers to previously answered questions. But I think emphasis definitely has to be laid on strategies that are designed to break the cycle of domestic violence. Education around non violent conflict resolution must be part of our education system. Domestic violence behaviour doesn't start at the beginning of a relationship, it starts long before that. I am definitely concerned about the connections between domestic violence and schoolyard violence.

The Green Party combined response to Questions 2 - 9 (inclusive) can be found here.

Question 11. Do you have any further comments that you wish to make about the role of women in our society? Please feel free to share your thoughts here.
Without writing an essay... I am concerned that the feminist movement stumbled along the way with this obsession about equality. Sure, the right for women to have equal access to society is important, but I believe it is far from the end goal. Our society massively discriminates against women's work on an economic level. I believe we have a long way to go towards addressing the economic disadvantages women face, especially in regards to income, debt and in particular student debt, and home ownership. Both women and men will benefit from a society where women are truly liberated.

Living in Australia I often look at the differences between the countries and one thing I do see is strong women leaders, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous in Aotearoa. While there are certainly strong women leaders here, it is on a different level. I see the differences in the general cultural attitudes towards women and I do get very inspired by the examples set back home. Thinking back to the ALAC ad, I think some Hand Mirror readers would uprise in revolt if they saw some of the advertising over here... I think it's important that political parties continue to take the lead from general society and promote strong women leaders, we're all a lot better off for it.

Thanks for taking the time to ask these important questions. I don't think our politicians get asked them enough.

Rayna, who is a regular reader and commenter here and thus aware of our cupcake obsession, also provided a snap of her fave cupcakes:


Hugh said...

Those cupcakes have got me wondering about the Green party's official attitude towards Tino Rangatiratanga.

But getting on to what Rayna actually wrote, I see that once again, education is the answer.

Anna said...

LOVE the cupcakes.

I'm interested in the link you draw between violence in schools and violence in broader society, and agree about the importance of tackling it. Any thoughts on how this could be done?

Rayna said...

Kia ora Hugh

I think this statement from our Maori Issues Policy probably answers your question:

The rangatiratanga of mana whenua, set out in Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Article 2), is a collective human right protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Green Party will ensure that rangatiratanga is enhanced and will work with Māori based organisations and representative groups to develop a programme of enhancing rangatiratanga at all levels, and provide adequate resources to support this.

The rest of the policy is here and our Te Tiriti policy is here

I hope that answers your question, let me know if not.

Anna - mate, you should've tasted them! I'm far from being a cupcake pro. In fact the other cupcakes I made exploded.. But these were Yum!!

Re bullying, I think the key step is supporting peer support programmes. I know when I was at school, the involvement of teachers tended to exacerbate problems rather than improve them. Yet the peer support schemes that were in place were really effective at confronting and solving bullying problems.

There is some really powerful lessons for kids to learn when they are empowered and resourced to solve community issues for themselves.

I think we often underestimate the impact of peer pressure and how it can be used positively within school communities.

If we get kids used to challenging violence and skilled up on alternative conflict resolution techniques when they are school it will be heaps easier for them to respond to these issues when they grow up.

Hugh said...

Well, my first question would be, which of the rights protected in the UDHR corresponds to Tino Rangatiratanga, in the view of the Green Party?

Tui said...

I have a question about the emphasis on education which may have been brought up before. Educational programmes, while they may be/are effective, tend to be effective to the same degree that education is accessed and taken advantage of - that is to say, education policies benefit, and change the behaviours of, wealthy people more than poor people. For example, widespread health education policies (right down to 5+ a day) may see an *overall* improvement in health statistics, but often work to widen the gap in outcomes between the wealthy and the poor. Domestic violence is not confined to people living in poverty, but it statistically occurs (or is reported) more often for these groups... what other strategies might the Greens employ?