Women In The Mixed Economy Essay

1933 words - 8 pages

The mixed economy of welfare has heavily impacted the life of women in Aotearoa New Zealand from the 1800s to the 21st century. The role of women has radically changed as New Zealand has gone through political and cultural reform. The state, the voluntary sector and the marketplace has had to accommodate for new needs of women and has given, in some cases, a better chance for equality between men and women. Significant changes in policy have been caused due to women gaining monetary independence through the workforce, status within a marriage and recognition as a mother. The policies related to these changes were the Domestic purposes Benefit policy, Equal Pay Act, Matrimonial act. These changes were flawed but still for some improve the opportunities a women had.
The state relationship with women in Aotearoa New Zealand has changed over the past two centuries. Initially, from the 1800s through to the mid-1900s the colonial state has viewed women as the domestic carer with their main role in society being having families and being wives (Tennant, 2004). In this time period the state met the needs of women by providing welfare payments that ensured that she had a good environment to provide full-time care for children without the need to work. The state also met the first wave of feminist women in the late 1800s needs by allowing women the right to vote and to be viewed as Individual legal entities (Morris, 2012, Nolan, 2000). However, this did not change the relationship of the state with women drastically as in the 1900s married women with children were provided with state housing and in 1926 introduced a universal ‘women’s wage’ that was given to support each child and encourage women to have large families and stay in the domestic role (Belgrave, 2012). The states relationship with women changed as many women were no longer part of the traditional nuclear family (married man and women with children) structure. The state had to provide support for women who were choosing to participate in the workforce or chose to be single or unmarried.
The market, especially thorough the labour market, has provided women with the opportunity to be self-reliant and independent. As many women move from dependency on either a male-breadwinner or the state. For some women participation in the market has beneficial however because of discrimination, inequity and inequality the labour force is oppressive. As previously mentioned from the 1800s to the 1950s the state viewed women only as a wife or mother, therefore throughout this period women had were not participating in the paid workforce at the same level as men (Mclennan et al, 2010). By the 1980s participation of women in the workforce had radically risen as women were seeking the ability to “be able to choose what they do with their lives- to be homemakers full-time, to have a full-time paid job, or to be part-time in the workforce and part-time at home” (Office of the Minister of Women’s Affairs, 1985,...

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