For most of my working life, I have worked alongside women, either as a work partner, boss and sometimes with a woman boss.
Never have I felt they were subservient to me, never have I had the impression their work was inferior to mine, and never have I believed they were less capable.
And yet in very, very few cases have the women in question been paid or treated as equals and I find this appalling.
Many women workers today are also single parents, some supporting children and/or elderly parents and yet they are expected to do that on a wage considerably less than their male counterparts. This is just not acceptable.
I have always felt women get the short straw when it comes to earning a living, not just from the wages point of view but from the way they are treated, even when the boss is a woman.
We men, like it or not, are beholden to women, we spend nine months very closely attached and then from birth, we desperately need them for the next 18 years (often much, much longer!) I know many men who would starve without their wives or mothers - some of these men are one foot in the grave!
So come on fellas, let us start showing a little more respect and kindness, the gentle sex has well and truly earned it.
Museum restoration and insurance payout
It is great to see that $25 million is guaranteed for the restoration of the museum. It's a bit worrying though, that the initial estimate of $30m is now $40m-$47m. Where initially we would have been looking for an additional approx $5m, it's now $20m-$25m - significantly more.
Even more worrying is that, in all the publicity and talk of funding, there is no mention of any insurance payout, not even for "business interruption". Income from the museum was estimated at about $2.2 million per year, covered for a maximum of two years.
Does this silence mean the damage was caused through inadequate maintenance therefore insurance companies refused to pay out? Does it mean the damage was already there but not picked up during inspections until a thorough inspection post quake?
If the damage was already there, was from poor maintenance, or not identified during inspections, heads should roll.
It must surely be time now to publicly communicate the extent of any insurance payout. After more than two years, this must be known because it will affect on the total external funding requested. My concern is that the silence suggests no payout.
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