Sarita Divis is the Alliance's candidate in the seat of Auckland Central, and number 9 on the Alliance party list. You'll find her answers below, and the responses of lots of other candidates, and some party-wide ones, here. This response from Sarita is the penultimate one we are publishing in the series; the final one will go up at lunch time today.
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?
The biggest single issue currently facing New Zealand women is the economic crisis in the global economy and domestic economy. In times of economic crisis all forms of inequality increace. Economic pressure creates a less tolerant society in the areas of racisim, homophobia agesim and discrimination against women.
Alliance has specific polices to address the economic crisis as well as policies to ensure the rights of all members of society are protected in all legislation. I would push that the Ministry of womens affairs should be properly funded to ensure that they have the resources to comment and impact upon on all legislation going through the house and not just what are considered 'womens issues' .Now more then ever womens voices need to be heard.
Question 2. New Zealand women are paid, on average, over $300 a week less than men, and the difference is worse for Maori and Pacific Island women. What do you propose as a first step towards closing the gender pay gap?
Please refer to other alliance candidates response they have outlined our policy positions in this area very well
Question 3. Do you think NZ's current approach to reproductive rights (abortion, contraception etc) is correct? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
If not, what changes would you want to make?
Yes agree with current but Alliance would put more resources into the Family Planning Clinics.
Question 4. The police and the courts do not work in preventing violence against women. What other government actions would you take to ensure women can live without fear.
Raising womens economic status raises their status in the home and society Initiatives such as paid parental leave which was actually an alliance (not labour party ) achievement, Pay equity legislation, Free education Free quality healthcare. Full employment.
Question 5. Those who do the caring work in our society, paid and unpaid, are often the least recognized and the lowest paid, and they work the longest hours. What do you see as the priority to address these issues for those caring for our sick, our elderly and our children?
(no answer given)
Question 6. The Ministry of Health has recently launched a campaign to encourage breastfeeding and is now recommending that babies be breastfeed to at least one year old. What do you think the government could do to ensure that every woman who wants to breast feed can?
(no answer given)
Question 7. What single measure do you think our political organizations could take to better encourage young women to be involved and take on leadership positions in our communities?
Unfortunalty leadership is the catch phrase of the moment. What we need is more doers and less leaders. We need to acknowledge the contribution all women do already in the community as mothers sisters and community members. From there we need to make it possible time and resource wise for women to be more involved and take part in community activity and in political democracy.
Question 8. Do you see domestic violence as an issue for women, for men, or for all New Zealanders? (Women, or Men, or all New Zealanders please)
If elected, what strategies would you like to pursue to eliminate domestic violence?
All New Zealanders
Question 9. Successive governments have effectively cut the Domestic Purposes Benefit. Do you believe people raising children alone should have sufficient financial support from the state so that they do not need to go to work until they believe that is the best choice for their family? (Yes or No or No Answer, please)
No child should live in poverty.
Question 10. Women do the vast majority of cooking and shopping, and increases in food prices are a burden borne disproportionately by women. What do you think our government can or should do to ensure that everyone has access to good food?
The governemnt needs to promote economic self sufficiency especially in the area of food.
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.
(no answer given)