CNZM, D.Phil., D.Litt.
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
1975 – 1978
|Preceded by||Douglas Carter|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament
1978 – 1984
|Succeeded by||Katherine O'Regan|
|Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee|
|Board member of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand|
7 October 1952 |
|Committees||Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee, Senior Government Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the Disarmament and Arms Control Committee|
Marilyn Joy Waring, CNZM (born 7 October 1952), is a New Zealand feminist, a politician, an activist for female human rights and environmental issues, a development consultant and United Nations expert, an author and an academic, known as a principal founder of the discipline of feminist economics.
A member of the conservative New Zealand National Party, she became at 23 the youngest member of the Parliament of New Zealand in 1975, for Raglan. In 1978 she became the MP for Waipa, and remained in the House of Representatives until 1984. As a member of Parliament, she served as Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee, Senior Government Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and member of the Disarmament and Arms Control Committee, and was the sole woman in the government caucus. Waring precipitated the New Zealand general election, 1984 by threatening to vote for the opposition-sponsored nuclear-free New Zealand legislation, leading Prime Minister Robert Muldoon to call a snap election, stating that Waring's "feminist anti-nuclear stance" threatened his ability to govern. The nuclear-free New Zealand legislation was subsequently enacted by the new Labour government, and has been a sacrosanct touchstone of New Zealand foreign policy since.
After leaving politics, Waring obtained a D.Phil. in political economy (1989). Her 1988 book If Women Counted (originally published with an introduction by Gloria Steinem) is a feminist analysis of modern economics, that argues that women's work and the value of Nature are not taken into account. It "persuaded the United Nations to redefine gross domestic product, inspired new accounting methods in dozens of countries and became the founding document of the discipline of feminist economics."
Since 2006, Marilyn Waring has been a Professor of Public Policy at the Institute of Public Policy at AUT University in Auckland, New Zealand, focusing on governance and public policy, political economy, gender analysis, and human rights. She has held Fellowships at Harvard and Rutgers Universities. Waring was a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand from 2005 to 2009, and has worked as a consultant for organizations such as the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), United Nations Development Programme, Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI), and the International Development Research Centre (Ottawa, Canada).
Waring's work was the subject of a 1995 film by Oscar-winning director Terre Nash, titled Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics. She became a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2008 New Year's Honours List, for her services to women and economics, and was awarded an honorary D.Litt. in 2011. In 2012, she was included on the Wired Magazine Smart List of "50 people who will change the world." An anthology named Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics was published in 2014, with contributions of a diverse group of scholars on advances made in the field since the publication of If Women Counted.
Waring's recent work has focused on women's work as an issue of international human rights. She has also done activist work on behalf of women imprisoned or denied refugee status because of what she calls "feminist political issues beyond the restricted definitions and practices of international human rights".
She has outspokenly criticised the concept of GDP, the economic measure that became a foundation of the United Nations System of National Accounts (UNSNA) following World War II. She criticises a system which 'counts oil spills and wars as contributors to economic growth, while child-rearing and housekeeping are deemed valueless'.
Waring speaks publicly on gay and lesbian rights, most recently in support of same-sex marriages. The New Zealand Truth tabloid newspaper "outed" her as a lesbian in 1976. She refused to comment at the time and the Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, moved swiftly to minimize publicity and protect her, the general attitude among politicians being that it was a private matter. Also, Waring's strong pro-choice identification and vocal feminism would overshadow her lesbianism. Since she left Parliament in 1984, Waring has more openly acknowledged her sexual orientation.
She teaches on the inequities of globalization and the misery it causes in countries like India or China. She also gives conferences to high schools.
Political career (1975-1984)
|Parliament of New Zealand|
In the 1975 general election, she became the New Zealand National Party member of Parliament for the Raglan electorate. Together with Colleen Dewe, at the time of their election, they were only the fourteenth and fifteenth women elected as a Member of Parliament in New Zealand. She was only one of two women in the government caucus and only one of four women elected in the 1975 election. After the 1978 election she was the sole female government MP, until Ruth Richardson was elected at the 1981 election.
She fell out with Prime Minister Rob Muldoon almost immediately, and there were several episodes of conflict, although they also shared views on some issues such as welfare payments to single mothers, where Muldoon was a believer in the welfare state.
During her period in Parliament, she served as Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee, Senior Government Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and on the Disarmament and Arms Control Committee. The appointment to the Public Expenditure Committee after the 1978 election was a considerable achievement for a member of only three years' standing. According to Barry Gustafson,
- Waring recalled that she 'just fell off my chair' when Muldoon, without any prior consultation, announced at caucus that she would be chairperson of the very influential Public Expenditure Committee. This was a major position for an MP of only three years' experience and even more so in light of Waring's youth and controversial first term. Muldoon, however, knew that Waring had similar views and values on the economy to his own and that she had the intellectual capacity and drive to cope with complex investigation and analysis. He was also well aware that she would not be intimidated by ministers or senior officials.
She also served on the Select committee for Violent Offending, taking a particular interest in the Aroha Trust, formed by Black Power women. As a Member of Parliament, she was also the New Zealand Observer at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, and chaired the New Zealand Delegation to the OECD Conference on the Role of Women in the Economy in 1978.
Waring had come especially to disagree with the National Party policy over the issue of a nuclear-free New Zealand and, on 14 June 1984, she informed the leadership that she would vote independently on nuclear issues, disarmament issues, and rape but would continue to support the Government on confidence. Since the National Party had only a one-seat majority, the government would be likely (though not certain) to lose on an issue Muldoon regarded as one of national security.
That evening Muldoon decided to call a snap election to be held on 14 July (a general election was due at the end of the year). The election was a disaster for the National Party. Waring told Muldoon's biographer that she had deliberately sought to provoke Muldoon into this action.
In 1984 Waring left politics and returned to lecturing, where her research has focused on well-being, human rights and on economic factors that influence legislation and aid.
In 1988 she published If Women Counted. The book has also been published as Counting for Nothing, but remains most widely known under the first title. It criticises the use of GDP as a surrogate for "progress," and argues that lacking valuation of women and nature drive decisions in globalisation that have unintended but terrible consequences for the world. According to Julie A. Nelson,
- "Marilyn Waring's work woke people up. She showed exactly how the unpaid work traditionally done by women has been made invisible within national accounting systems, and the damage this causes. Her book [...] encouraged and influenced a wide range of work on ways, both numerical and otherwise, of valuing, preserving, and rewarding the work of care that sustains our lives. By pointing to a similar neglect of the natural environment, she also issued a wake-up call to issues of ecological sustainability that have only grown more pressing over time. In recent decades, the field of feminist economics has broadened and widened to encompass these topics and more."
In 1989 Waring gained a D.Phil. in political economy from the University of Waikato with a thesis on the United Nations System of National Accounts, and in 1990 a University of Waikato Research Council grant to continue work on "female human rights."
Between 1991 and 1994, Marilyn Waring served as Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and the Politics of Human Rights with the Department of Politics at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.
In May 2006, Marilyn Waring was appointed Professor of Public Policy at the Institute for Public Policy (IPP) at AUT University. Her research focuses on governance and public policy, political economy, gender analysis, and human rights.
She was one of 16 prominent intellectuals invited to contribute to a French publication on human rights around the globe in 2007, along with Ken Loach, Maude Barlow, Walden Bello and Susan George.
According to Wired,
- "Marilyn Waring is an extremely clear thinker about the disastrous consequences of using measures such as GDP as a surrogate for "progress" or "wellbeing" in a country. She has also analysed how economics as it is currently practised as a "science" is radically defective and that it drives decisions in globalisation that have unintended but terrible consequences for the world. We must realise that we can't tackle the problems in health care, environmental issues, food security, democracy and women's rights in isolation; they must be seen as a set of interrelated issues, and anyone who wants to make a difference in the human condition must look at all of these factors."
In between her academic and activist engagements, Waring farmed angora goats and dry stock on her hill-farm north of Auckland. She organised her farm for maximum simplicity and self-sufficiency. She left the farm to become a city dweller on turning 50.
Awards and recognitions
- 2013 Inaugural Westpac/Fairfax "Women of Influence Awards" - winner of the Science and Innovation Category
- 2013 Amnesty International New Zealand’s Human Rights Defender Award
- 2011 Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) honoris causa, Glasgow Caledonian University, for her "outstanding international contribution towards the understanding of feminism and female human rights"
- 2008 Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, for her "services to women and economics"
- 2000 The College of Nurses (Aotearoa) announce an annual award for graduate study called the Marilyn Waring Scholarship
- 1995 Hiroshima Day: Special Award of NZ Foundation for Peace Studies for Peacework
- 1993 Suffrage Centenary Medal
- 1990 Commemorative Medal
- 1977 Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal
- Waring, Marilyn. Women, Politics, and Power: Essays, Unwin Paperbacks-Port Nicholson Press (1984). Issues on women in Parliament, apartheid and New Zealand sport, Nuclear Free New Zealand. ISBN 0-86861-562-5
- Waring, Marilyn. If Women Counted: A New Feminist Economics, Harper & Row (1988), republished by Macmillan, Allen & Unwin and University of Toronto Press several times under its original title and as Counting for Nothing
- Waring, Marilyn. Three Masquerades: Essays on Equality, Work and Hu(man) Rights, Auckland: Auckland University Press with Bridget Williams Books (1996) ISBN 0-8020-8076-6. Three Masquerades includes references to Waring's years in Parliament, which she describes as "an experience of counterfeit equality". It also looks at her experiences with farming and with the development field, where she was "daily confronted with the travesty of excluding women's unpaid work from the policy-making process".
- Waring, Marilyn. In the Lifetime of a Goat: Writings 1984–2000, Bridget Williams Books (April, 2004) ISBN 1-877242-09-8
- Waring, Marilyn. Managing Mayhem : Work Life Balance in New Zealand, Dunmore Publishing (2007). ISBN 9781877399282
- Waring, Marilyn. 1 Way 2 C the World: Writings 1984–2006, University of Toronto Press (2011)
- Anit N Mukherjee, Marilyn Waring, Meena Shivdas, Robert Carr. Who Cares?: The Economics of Dignity, Commonwealth Secretariat (2011). ISBN 978-1-84929-019-7
- Waring, Marilyn & Kearins, Kate. Thesis Survivor Stories, Exisle Publishing (2011). Practical Advice on Getting Through Your PhD or Masters Thesis. ISBN 978-0-9582997-2-5
- Anit N Mukherjee, Elizabeth Reid, Marilyn Waring, Meena Shivdas. Anticipatory Social Protection: Claiming dignity and rights, Commonwealth Secretariat (2013). ISBN 978-1-84929-095-1
- Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics (1995). Directed by Terre Nash and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. The film can be viewed at nfb.ca.
- Marilyn Waring on TUC Radio. This is an audio version of "Who's Counting?" video (also called "Counting for Nothing"). Direct link to audio is here.
- Working Class Hero (John Lennon cover) b/w Couldn't Get It Right (Climax Blues Band cover) (1980).
- New Zealand general election, 1984
- Triple bottom line
- Feminist economics
- Gay rights in New Zealand
- Margunn Bjørnholt and Ailsa McKay (eds.), Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics, with a foreword by Julie A. Nelson, Toronto, Demeter Press/Brunswick Books, 2014, ISBN 9781927335277
- Langeland, Terje (18 June 2013). "Women Unaccounted for in Global Economy Proves Waring Influence". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
- "Marilyn Waring appointed to position at AUT". Scoop. 31 May 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Marilyn Waring joins AUT". Inside AUT. July 2006. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics". National Film Board of Canada . Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "New Year honour for Marilyn Waring". GayNZ.com. 31 December 2007. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- "Professor awarded with Honorary Degree from Scotland". Auckland University of Technology. May 24, 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
- "The Smart List 2012: 50 people who will change the world". Wired.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- "Marilyn Waring makes Wired magazine 'Smart List'". Ipp.aut.ac.nz. 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- Bjørnholt, Margunn; McKay, Ailsa, eds. (2014). Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics. Demeter Press/Brunswick Books. ISBN 9781927335277. With a foreword by Julie A. Nelson.
- Bjørnholt, Margunn (2010). "Waring, Marilyn". In Andrea O'Reilly. Encyclopedia of Motherhood. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. pp. 1260–1261. ISBN 978-1-4129-6846-1.
- Fischlin, Daniel; Nandorfy, Martha (2007). The Concise Guide to Global Human Rights. Black Rose Books. ISBN 978-1-55164-294-9.
- Duder, Karen (2001). "Waring, Marilyn". In Robert Aldrich and Garry Wotherspoon. Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History: From World War II to the Present. London: Routledge. p. 433. ISBN 0-415-29161-5.
- Gianoulis, Tina (2006). "Waring, Marilyn". In Claude J. Summers. glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture.
- Young, Hugh (2002). "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender New Zealand History. Part 2". Queer History New Zealand. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Gustafson, Barry (2000). His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon. Auckland: Auckland University Press. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-86940-243-3.
- Young, Hugh (2002). "Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender New Zealand History. Part 4". Queer History New Zealand. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- McCallum, Janet (1993). Women in the House - Members of Parliament in New Zealand. Wellington: Cape Catley. ISBN 0-908561-41-5.
- Gustafson, Barry (2000). His Way: A Biography of Robert Muldoon. Auckland: Auckland University Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-1-86940-243-3.
- Trust: A true story of Women and Gangs. Pip Desmond. 2009. Page 241.
- Waring interviewed by Gustafson, 24 February 1993, cited Gustafson, His Way p. 370 n. 33 and n. 38.
- Nelson, Julie A. (2014). "Foreword". In Bjørnholt, Margunn; McKay, Ailsa. Counting on Marilyn Waring: New Advances in Feminist Economics. Demeter Press/Brunswick Books. ISBN 9781927335277.
- "Marilyn Waring biography". marilynwaring.com. Retrieved 22 March 2011.
- "Rebel voice of the world". Inside AUT. March 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
- "Board of Directors". AWID. Retrieved 2012-05-24.
- "Marilyn Waring - Working Class Hero". Discogs. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Marilyn Waring at the Internet Movie Database
- International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE)
- Journal of Feminist Economics
- Marilyn Waring at AUT
- Marilyn Waring, Listener Interview 2004
- Watch Who's Counting? Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies and Global Economics
|New Zealand Parliament|
|Member of Parliament for Raglan
Constituency abolished, recreated in 1984
Title next held bySimon Upton
Constituency recreated after abolition in 1969
Title last held bySir Leslie Munro
|Member of Parliament for Waipa
||Chair of the Public Expenditure Committee