This petition is now closed. Thank you!
On April 7 2021, we presented our petition at Parliament signed by 2,873 people, and backed by academics and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
This petition is calling for an urgent Select Committee process, for the Government to set aside $6 million to overhaul women's health services and for a Women’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy & Action Plan.
The petition was received by Labour MP Louisa Wall, along with Labour's Sarah Pallett, Ingrid Leary and Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki; Green's Jan Logie and Elizabeth Kerekere; Māori party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer; and National's Nicola Grigg. This cross-party support clearly shows how significant the need of this strategy is: our women need better health and wellbeing support, and something must be done.
This call to action is now in the hands of the Government - we'll be keeping you updated with how it is received, and what happens next. For now, THANK YOU for championing women's health and supporting our mahi. You can read our petition below, and sign up to our mailing list for updates.
Gender Justice Collective's Petition: Prioritise a National Women’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan.
Dear Hon Andrew Little, Hon Grant Robertson and Hon Jan Tinetti,
When you were elected you said you wanted to “ensure all New Zealanders can access quality health care”.
We want the government to commit to creating a National Women’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan and to ensure $6 million is allocated to create this in the 2021 budget.
We need to significantly improve the differential health outcomes between women versus men and between different groups of women and girls within our population. Now.
The $6 million we are asking for equates to $2.60 per woman in Aotearoa. Surely we are worth this?
We can’t wait any longer for action. Women are dying.
Ina te oranga o te Wāhine, ka ora te Whanau, ka ora te hapu, ka ora e nga iwi e.
Why is this important?
Our country is proud of its history of championing the rights of women. Most New Zealanders want to live in a society that values girls, women, wāhine, intersex, trans women and non-binary people. But, when it comes to our health system, New Zealand is failing us. We need change to happen now.
We are asking for health care and a health system that understands and is designed to meet our needs. We want our government to focus on, and assign more resources to, supporting the health and wellbeing of girls, women, wāhine, intersex, trans women and non-binary people.
Currently, the quality of health care that many women, wāhine, intersex, trans women and non-binary people can access depends on where they live, how much money they have and what colour they are. Racism, poverty, prejudice, discrimination, ignorance, lack of appropriate training, and a failure to listen and engage with the community are just some of the reasons for this. So, too is a lack of political will.
We are falling behind on our obligations to The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and we are failing 52% of the population of Aotearoa New Zealand.
We can do better, and we must do better.
Girls, women, wāhine, intersex, trans women and non-binary people need a targeted approach to ensuring their health needs are understood, met and respected.
This is highlighted in the Gender Justice Collective’s #YouChoose2020 survey, the first survey of its kind since the outbreak of COVID-19. The majority of respondents reported that they want their government to devote more resources and attention to supporting women’s health and wellbeing.
The survey confirms some of the ways in which the pandemic has taken a toll on women, wāhine, intersex, trans women and non-binary people’s health and wellbeing. For instance, only 55% of #YouChoose2020 respondents agreed that they can access everything they need to ensure their own health and wellbeing.
At present, there is no overarching strategy nor action plan focused on women’s health. There are no formal analyses of health needs and healthcare quality from a gender perspective that have been carried out or commissioned by the New Zealand government.
90% of the health and care workforces - frontline workers during the pandemic - have been women. And yet, ironically, the service delivery and funding model penalises women compared to men and costs them more over their life course.
Other comparable countries, like Australia and the UK, have prioritised women’s health. We are asking our government to do the same.
The strategy and action plan the Gender Justice Collective and others within the Health Sector want to see produced is intersectional, based on a hauora framework, and takes a comprehensive approach to improving women’s health across the course of a woman’s life.
It’s time to step up for women, wāhine, trans women, intersex and non-binary people of Aotearoa.
Our lives depend on it.
Sign the petition to show your support.
Check out the petition featured here:
- Presenting the petition with RNZ
- Petition hand over with Stuff
- Ensemble Magazine
- Alison Mau: Opinion Piece