Sunday, July 29, 2007

Rant: New Zealand gave women the vote, and then did nothing else

New Zealand, despite being the first country in the world to give women the vote, has a really crap record when it comes to womens issues. Some of the lowlights include:
  • Well after the Helsinki convention was signed, doctors were performing cervical cancer experiments on women and girls without their knowledge or consent.
  • In a completely separate incident, readings of screenings were botched for years in one region of NZ -- as a result of this NZ women now do not have adequate privacy protection for their smears or their medical records, as they are all part of a research programme to improve cervical screening.
  • Despite NZ's purported interest in preventing cervical cancer, anyone who wants the vaccine there has to pay for it themselves.
  • Herceptin, a breast cancer drug, inadequately funded in NZ
  • Haemophilia patients (mostly male) have access to a wide range of treatments and uncapped funding, while rheumatoid arthritis (mostly female) patients have only recently gained access to world class care under strict funding guidelines.
This list has focused on health issues because this discussion is going to be about one of the biggest health issues for women: reproductive choice.

continued in next post

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