We see you: recognising our women working in paid and unpaid roles


Today marks International Women’s Day.  At Moana Research, we recognise the important influences our women have not only in the home but also within the workplace .  The labour force participation rate of women has increased from 54.5 percent (June 1994 year) to 62.8 percent (June 2018 year)[1].  In the June 2018 quarter, the proportion of women not in employment, education, or training (NEET) fell to 11.3 percent – the lowest rate since records began in 2004[2].  Although employment for women has improved, these figures don’t reflect women are known to carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household and care work than men which is rarely recognised. 

Women are much more likely than men to be employed in caring professions such as nursing, teaching, midwifery and social work – professions that are all fighting for pay equity and better working conditions.  Women make up 98% of the early years sector, 92% of nurses[3], 99.8% of midwives and 85% of social workers[4]

Today we recognise you – we always have.  You all have key roles working alongside our parents and children, helping them understand the important role they play in the early years.

To our teachers, we see you.  Thank you for working alongside our parents and children, helping them understand the importance of play and communication in brain development.  We see the joy you have when our children come to school, capturing and sharing the discoveries our children make when we aren’t there to witness these magical moments happen.  Thank you.

To our midwives and nurses, we see you.  Thank you for caring for our families during pregnancy and throughout the life course.  Thank you for helping parents understand the importance of prevention, immunisations and its role in preventing common childhood illnesses such as measles and chicken pox. 

To our social workers, we see you.  Thank you for working alongside our families, especially our most vulnerable.  Your role in navigating families, providing care, advice and support is so vital.

To our sisters, mothers, aunties, daughters, nieces and grandmothers, we see you.  Thank you for all the unpaid work that you undertake within our homes, churches, schools, sports teams and cultural groups. 

Today, for International Women’s Day, we see you and acknowledge all the important work you all undertake, both paid and unpaid.  Thank you.


[1] Statistics New Zealand https://www.stats.govt.nz/news/employment-highest-ever-for-women  

[2] Ibid

[3] Ministry of Health. 2016. Health of the Health Workforce 2015. Wellington: Ministry of Health.[



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