New Zealander of the Year, and E tū’s equal pay hero, Kristine Bartlett has marked International Women’s Day with a message to women fighting for equal pay.
“Stand up for what you believe is right and fair and reach high,” says Kristine.
Kristine, who led the campaign for pay equity for care and support workers, says the historic settlement won last year has lifted pay for these predominantly female workers and set a precedent for other women.
That includes early childhood workers who will today be among those presenting the Council of Trade Union’s Treat Her Right equal pay petition to the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue.
“I had a chat with them about a year ago and they acknowledged I’d given them inspiration to fight, and I said, that’s what you’ve got to do if you want something and you deserve it.
“Never give up. Keep going the way I did the last five years, along with my union.”
Kristine is delighted that this year, International Women’s Day coincides with the global campaign by women against sexual harassment. She says in many ways 2018 is the year of women.
“I’m just so pleased about that – I can say “#MeToo” because I’ve been down that road as well,” she says.
“It’s just so important that we’re starting to do something positive and encouraging people not to be afraid but to speak the truth and let people know what’s going on and what we’ve been through.
“We need a bit of respect in our lives and we deserve it. #MeToo is great – all over the world women are getting the courage to speak up.”