Release: Labour will advance women’s health, careers, and legal protections

A re-elected Labour Government will continue its proud tradition of advancing women’s health, employment, and legal rights Spokesperson for Women Jan Tinetti said.

  • Extend the age of free breast cancer screening from 69 to 74
  • Implement a national endometriosis action plan
  • Make cervical screening services free between the ages of 25 to 69 years, saving up to $100 in co-payments.
  • Establish an innovation and entrepreneurship scholarship programme for low-middle income women
  • Modernised consent law
  • Introduce gender pay gap reporting

The commitments come in Labour’s first Women’s Manifesto and follow a proud tradition of advancing women’s rights in Aotearoa New Zealand, progress that is under threat by a change of Government.

“Labour is committed to creating a more equal society for all women. Every woman should have the opportunity to reach her full potential, regardless of her background or circumstances,” Jan Tinetti said.

“I’m incredibly proud that in the last six years Labour has delivered significant wins in women’s health, employment, justice, and financial standing. From abortion law reform to delivering pay equity settlements for over 150,000 people we are making progress.

“Our Women’s Package outlines our commitments to women in health, employment, pay equity, financial independence, entrepreneurship, and justice to continue our progress.

“Labour will work with business leaders to develop a for women by women innovation and entrepreneurship scholarship programme to lift entrepreneurial pathways for low-middle income women interested in running a small business.

“We have plans to deliver significant improvements to women’s health with a range of measures that target some of the most common health issues women experience.

“We will extend the maximum age of free breast cancer screening from 69 to 74, ensuring an additional 115,000 women can access the lifesaving screening programme.

“We will also make cervical screening services free between the ages of 25 to 69 years, saving up to $100 in co-payments. Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable cancers and regular screening saves lives, so it is critical cost isn’t a barrier to accessing early detection

“We will develop and implement a national endometriosis action plan that will improve education about the condition and improve clinical management and care.

“We will continue our work to provide cost of living support, by removing discriminations that means women can lose entitlements.

“We will review how relationship status impacts benefit entitlements so single mothers aren’t disadvantaged when starting a new relationship. We will also keep funding Kiwisaver contributions while parents are on paid parental leave, and extend 20 hours free early childhood education to 2 year olds.

“These changes will mean women and mothers are better financially supported while raising their children.

“New Zealand has a proud history of progressing women’s rights. In two days we will celebrate the 130 year anniversary of women successfully campaigning for the right to vote in New Zealand. It’s important that as we celebrate this milestone, we look to the future of what we will do to continue this legacy.

“Under a Labour Government we’ve seen significant improvements in women’s earnings. We’ve grown women’s average weekly wage by 34.3% - 6.4% more than men’s wages and outpacing inflation at 23.1%.

“We have supported the introduction of paid miscarriage leave, rolled out free period products to schools across the country, removed abortion from the crimes act, and expanded ACC to cover birthing injuries.

“Labour has a proven track record of being the party that supports and values women. I’m proud of the work we have done and the commitments we’re making, and I believe that this suite of actions will ensure that New Zealand remains a world leader in women's rights and gender equality,” Jan Tinetti said.