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Gender Equal NZ Launched to Change Sexist Attitudes

Gender Equal NZ launched to change New Zealanders sexist attitudes

Gender Equal NZ was launched today to drive gender equality for all New Zealanders.

The new movement, led by the National Council of Women, will tackle the gender stereotypes and sexist attitudes that persist in Aotearoa New Zealand, and prevent women and gender diverse people from achieving their potential.

Gender Equal NZ spokesperson Vanisa Dhiru says enough is enough. “As New Zealanders we like to think we are a fair and just country. But there’s a gap – between what we think equality is and the reality.”

1 in 4 women experience sexual abuse from an ex/partner during their lifetime

2/3rds of people aged 25-64 who are on the minimum wage are women

Only 1 in 100 rapists in NZ are convicted

In NZ high schools, transgender students are nearly five times as likely to be bullied as their peers

“124 years ago, when women won the right to vote, New Zealand was a global leader in human rights. We’ve now slipped to 9th place among OECD on gender equality,” says Dhiru.

While the data paints a bleak picture, Gender Equal NZ will shine a light on the attitudes and behaviours that sit behind the poor outcomes. “We see sexism in the everyday interactions we all face, with subtle gender inequality being revealed in attitudes and assumptions. For some, gender inequality is more obvious. For all of us, the job is not done,” says Dhiru.

Gender Equal NZ’s work programme is designed to benchmark the state of gender equality in New Zealand, and then hold New Zealanders, including policy makers, to account on improving outcomes.

Gender Equal NZ has three initial projects planned: the first national survey on gender attitudes to understand how attitudes affect outcomes; collecting the latest data on gender inequality so there's an agreed set of metrics against which to hold policymakers to account; and establishing a number of taskforces to tackle gender norms.

“We need New Zealanders to help us change the outdated social norms that lead to inequality,” says Dhiru “Together we will call out inequalities in policy, society and the media that drive terrible outcomes for New Zealanders”.

People can join Gender Equal NZ at


More information about Gender Equal NZ

Gender Equal NZ is led by the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ). NCWNZ was founded in 1896 by Kate Sheppard, and prominent leaders of NZ’s suffrage movement. NCWNZ’s total membership is 290,000 drawn from 43 national organised members and 240 local organisations who are members of 21 branches around the country.

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