Wednesday, May 5, 2021
This week, Labour MP Kiritapu Allan reposted screenshots of comments left on her Facebook page that exposed the racist and sexist abuse she has received whilst undergoing treatment for cervical cancer.
We issued a statement on social media to show how appalled we were at the comments Minister Allan had received and to express our concern that such comments might be another impediment to people accessing health care.
Our response attracted attention from a number of media outlets and we thought we’d share some of these here with you.
- This is a One News article that sums things up.
- TVNZ talks with our chief executive and national nurse advisor about cervical screening.
- Our National Nurse Advisor spoke with radio station 95bFM about busting some cervical screening myths. You can listen to the audio here.
- Stuff reported on the surge in bookings for cervical screenings that has followed Minister Allan’s announcement.
- The Gisborne Herald had a good story on the issue too – including our Chief Executive’s comments and mention of the services on offer in Gisborne clinic
- This is an article about the worry that sexist and racist attitudes might prevent women coming forward for health care and treatment.
Here is our original statement in full
We are appalled, but not surprised, at sexist and racist comments on Minister Kiritapu Allan’s social media feed.
“As a sexual and reproductive health provider we know that double standards around sexual behaviour continue. Men’s behaviour is positively acknowledged while women are criticised, blamed and shamed. Not only is it wrong and hurtful, we worry that attitudes like this might prevent women coming forward for health care and treatment,” our chief executive Jackie Edmond says.
“The situation is compounded when issues of race are included. We need to be very clear that we want equity across health care – equity of access to service, equity of access to treatment, and equity of outcome. When survival rates for cervical cancer, for instance, are so different for Māori women compared to non-Māori, it is clear that for many, many people our health system is failing to deliver. We can and must do better.”
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