Gender equality matters for all of us
We are fighting for gender equality because we want all New Zealanders to have the freedom and opportunity to determine their own future.
Discrimination can be more subtle than it once was. We see it in our everyday interactions, with gender inequality being revealed in attitudes and assumptions. For some, gender inequality is more obvious. For all of us, the job is not done.
Our baseline fundamentals:
- Gender is diverse and expansive
- Genitals do not determine gender
- Sex traits (including chromosomes and reproductive organs) do not determine gender
- There are many combinations of sex traits
- Men are not inherently superior to other genders
- Trans women are women
- Trans men are men
- Non-binary people are visible, valid and respected
- All genders are visible, valid and respected
- All genders are equal
What’s holding us back from achieving true gender equality?
Where we once led in gender equality, New Zealand has now slipped to be ranked at 7th in the world. Did you know New Zealand has the worst reported rates of sexual and domestic violence in the whole OECD? Or that about one third of our MPs are women?
Gender inequality negatively affects businesses, government, families and the community – as well as individuals of all genders.
Discrimination doesn’t happen in isolation – and we need to recognise the negative effects of homophobia, transphobia, racism and other forms of oppression, along with sexism.
As Kate Sheppard famously said ‘All that separates whether of race, class, creed or sex is inhuman and must be overcome’.
It’s time for all of us to question the status quo. Most of the time, we’re given two options – you’re either a man or a woman. And being a man or a woman comes with these stereotypes about being a “real man” or a “real woman”. A real man is strong, earning lots and getting laid – right? A real woman is beautiful, a good cook and someone who looks after others – right? Well – not quite.
The unequal value attached to femininity and masculinity – we usually see this reduced to women and men – leads to unequal division of power, resources and therefore opportunities.
These ideas about what makes a “real man” or a “real woman” are limiting for all of us.
They don’t allow most people to express all of who we are. The reality is that most people have both characteristics that are seen as more masculine and characteristics that are seen as more feminine, and that’s just fine.
We know that 3.7% of secondary school students describe themselves as trans or “not sure” of their gender. Which means about 1 in 25 of our young people don’t feel like the gender they were ascribed at birth tells the whole story of who they are.
If we could break down these rigid expectations around gender, we’d create more room for everyone. Getting rid of the norms that cause gendered violence, pay inequality, the devaluing of caregiving work and parenting and inequalities in leadership roles – just to name a few outcomes – would change our world for the better.
Join us and help us to make equality, reality.