‘Approve to Decline’: A feminist critique of ‘Fairness’ and ‘Discrimination’ in a case study of EEO in the New Zealand Public Sector
Simon-Kumar, R. (2008). ‘Approve to Decline’: A feminist critique of ‘Fairness’ and ‘Discrimination’ in a case study of EEO in the New Zealand Public Sector. Women’s Studies Journal, 22(1), 20-36.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2902
The present paper aims to look at the contexts of meanings that surround Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) in practice, particularly for issues of gender justice. At the heart of the paper is a critical appraisal of one EEO event; an example drawn from the New Zealand public sector where claims to ‘gender disadvantage’ is made by an employee and responded to by the agency to which the claim is made. The event is representative of an instance where all parties are equally claiming the need to further EEO and fairness. By deconstructing the language and context of EEO in practice, the paper argues the point that EEO policy is not implemented in discursively uncontested contexts. At a substantive level, the paper builds on feminist theoretical perspectives of social justice, and questions if the contemporary frameworks of meaning in the public sector can support transformations of relationships of disadvantage. More pertinently, it asks if the “removal of unfair disadvantage”, on which EEO strategies are based, constitutes the promotion of social and gender justice.
Women's Studies Association of New Zealand
This article has been published in the journal: Women’s Studies Journal. Used with permission.