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Wednesday, August 22, 2018

woman Minister rides bicycle to hospital for delivery

You don’t get to see people going to work on a bi-cycle – that way, Julie Anne Genter, riding a cycle on a  “beautiful Sunday morning” to an hospital in Auckland with her partner, has made big International news. She is no ordinary person, Ms Genter, is Minister for women and associate minister for health and transport, an outspoken cycling advocate. (there is more to the timing of the ride !)

Cabinet of New Zealand -    is the New Zealand Government's body of senior ministers, responsible to the New Zealand Parliament. Cabinet meetings, chaired by the Prime Minister, occur once a week; in them, vital issues are discussed and government policy is formulated. Though not established by any statute, Cabinet has significant power in the New Zealand political system and nearly all bills proposed by the Cabinet in Parliament are enacted. All ministers in Cabinet also serve as members of the Executive Council, the body tasked with advising the Governor-General in the exercise of his or her formal constitutional functions. Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern- is the 40th  and current Prime Minister of New Zealand since 26 October 2017.

                         Julie Anne Genter is an American-born New Zealand politician who is a member of the House of Representatives representing the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. She is currently the Minister for Women, Associate Minister for Health and Associate Minister for Transport. She holds dual citizenship of New Zealand and the United States.  Genter was born in Rochester, Minnesota, United States, in 1979, and grew up in Los Angeles, California.

The Ministry for Women,  ‘Te Minitatanga mō ngā Wāhine’,  is the Government’s principal advisor on achieving better results for women, and wider New Zealand. The Ministry has three priority areas: valuing women's contributions; more women in leadership and keeping women free from violence.  The Ministry carries out its work by acting as a catalyst for action and change, and by getting key issues on the agenda of government agencies and other relevant organisations.

In an interesting news, the PM of NZ is quoted as saying that ‘ at least half of the senior leaders in the public sector will be women by the end of 2019, and workplaces will be flexible “by default” are among goals in an Action Plan to eliminate the  gender pay gap in the public service, launched recently. “The Action Plan will accelerate action across the public service to address the underlying workplace culture issues that drive the gender pay gap,” says Mr Hipkins. “This is a critical piece of work that ensures everyone in our public service is paid fairly for the role they do."  Among the key focus areas is equal pay – by the of 2020, all agencies will have closed any gender pay gaps within the same roles. “Government has a leadership role to play to ensure that women are treated fairly. As responsible employers, government can demonstrate what works and get the private sector on board. This plan sets the direction of travel for government departments to start fixing the pay imbalance,” says Ms Genter.

It is Ms Genter and the cycling done by the New Zealand's minister  that has attracted global news.  The  women cycled herself to a birthing unit as she prepares to have her first child.  Green Party politician Julie Anne Genter posted a picture on Instagram saying she had arrived at Auckland City hospital to be induced – and had travelled by bicycle. “Beautiful Sunday morning for a bike ride, to the hospital, for an induction to finally have this baby. This is it, wish us luck!  "My partner and I cycled because there wasn't enough room in the car for the support crew," she wrote. Genter, who was 42-weeks pregnant, said the ride was mostly downhill. The news comes just weeks after the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern returned to parliament following the birth of her daughter Neve.

The country's associate transport minister, Genter, 38, is a well-known and outspoken cycling advocate. Before she left the capital, she said there was a sense of hopefulness among women seeing government ministers becoming mothers for the first time. But having babies in office is far from new for Kiwi politicians. Labour's Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan was the first woman to give birth while an MP, in 1970. National's Ruth Richardson breastfed at work in 1983 and a child-care centre was established in parliament in the 1990s. A playground is currently being built on parliament's grounds amid a push by the Speaker of the House to make the precinct more family friendly.

Happy cycling and happy parenthood

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
22nd Aug 2018.

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