Monday, 5 September 2011

Farrar disingenuous over lack of women on National list

In an attempt to innoculate about concerns over the lack of women on National's list, released yesterday, David Farrar points to the three biggest movers on the list:
So who are the big moves.
The three biggest promotions are:
1.  Paula Bennett +27
2.  Amy Adams+24
3.  Nikki Kaye +24 A big vote of confidence in all three
Now it's interesting that Farrar chose the top three movers upwards.  Because the next two are:
4.  Simon Bridges +21
5.  Jonathan Young +21
These are the five who have moved up more than 20 places, which are really very large promotions.  But to point all of them out would involve showing two men's names when the focus is on minimising the appearance that the National list is male-dominated.  Good strategy to try and distract from the 72% maleness of the top 50.

And then there's this assessment from Farrar, which has been repeated elsewhere by a number of centre-right and right bloggers:
In terms of caucus diversity, and assuming a 48% party vote, National would have 15 female MPs out of 60, or 25%. A lot better than the old days when you could count the number on one hand, but not as high as it could be. The percentage women would increase to 28% if National gets 52%.
When Farrar refers to "the old days" I'm assuming he doesn't mean the current day, because right now the National caucus has 28% female MPs (16 out of 58).  I know I'm just a girl and girls can't do maths, but 25% is LESS THAN 28% and 15 projected female MPs is LESS THAN 16 current female MPs.

Key said yesterday that National still has the most female MPs in the House.  As previously mentioned, they have 16.  Labour have 15 female MPs.  Coincidentally, National have 16 more MPs than Labour overall.  Makes you wonder how many women National would have in the House if they had fewer MPs total, doesn't it?

Hooton has reportedly been on the radio this morning saying we live in a post-feminist world and 50% women's representation isn't a big deal anymore.  As Megan succintly tweeted:
if 50% of women would be no big deal, why don't we have it? And why are we going backwards?
Shame on National for continuing to entrench a lack of political representation for women in New Zealand.

Graphic shamelessly stolen lovingly reproduced from this guest post at The Standard.   See also a post by Labour's women's affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont at Red Alert, looking beyond just the lack of women on the list to also list some of the funding cuts that programmes on women's issues have faced under National.


Brett Dale said...

Shouldn't it matter though, what should matter is who is putting through the better policies.

I mean if you were an American and wanted to push womans rights would you vote for Obama or would you vote for someone like Sarah Palin or Michelle Mauchmann?

Anonymous said...

Hi Brett

Contemporary research on gender and parliamentary representation demonstrates that the more women in a parliament the more issues that are crucial to women are raised. It does not matter what the political leanings are of the male or of the female. Women parliamentarians are more likely to consider policy around work/life balance, paid parental leave, childcare, abortion, contraception, gender pay gaps etc. Do a bit of reading (I recommend a book like 'It takes a candidate' by Lawless and Fox or 'Politics of Presence' by Anne Phillips) and once you have done that then pop back for a discussion. Not before.



Anonymous said...

" balance, paid parental leave, childcare, abortion, contraception, gender pay gaps"\

None of which should be the business of the state.

Hugh said...

Care to link to that research?

Not trolling, I'm honestly interested.

McFlock said...

Hugh, Meg named two books and their authors. What more do you want?

Anon- the business of the state is that which is desired by its citizens. It's called "democracy". Wikipedia it.

Hugh said...

Yea, I was just wondering if there were any academic articles online that could be linked to. I'm interested but not really interested enough to put down money to buy the books.

Deborah said...

Let me google that for you, Hugh.

Just click on this link.

Hugh said...

Thanks Deborah.

Kezia said...

It's not just about substantive representation though (although it is very important) - there are other arguments to be made for greater women's representation in just a descriptive sense. The legitimacy of a representative democracy is tied to how representative its legislative body actually is - and when half the population has twice as much representation as the other half, that's not particularly representative.

(I'm so glad someone's raising these issues, Julie, so thanks for this series of posts)

James said...

"Anon- the business of the state is that which is desired by its citizens. It's called "democracy". Wikipedia it."

No...the business of the state is rights protection.. that's all....democracy and mob whims be dammed. If it try's to do anything else then rights must be violated in the process...its a contradiction and therefore not sustainable in the long term.

The greatest engine for Women's advancement has been free market capitalism...and where that's been impeded Women has stalled in their ascension to full equality and status beside Men.