The National Council of Women is calling on Good Guys on our Founders’ Day

Today marks Founders’ Day for the National Council of Women of New Zealand – 122 years since Kate Sheppard and other leading suffragists founded the gender equality organisation in 1896.

This year also marks Suffrage 125. On 19 September 1893, after the suffragists submitted a petition with nearly 32,000 signatures – which was also supported and signed by several male advocates – New Zealand became the first country in which women could vote. Three years later, the National Council of Women was founded.

Gender Equal NZ led by the National Council of Women, is calling on Good Guys to help us achieve a Gender Equal New Zealand.

“We have achieved a great deal in the last 122 years” says National Council of Women of New Zealand President Vanisa Dhiru and, “but we know we still have a long way to go until we can truly say that equality is reality for all New Zealanders.”

“This week Gender Equal NZ has released the results of New Zealand’s first Gender Attitudes Survey, along with the Good Guys animated short film and infographic” says Vanisa.  “As Kate Sheppard famously said ‘All that separates whether of race, class, creed or sex is inhuman and must be overcome’ and Good Guys embodies this idea” says Vanisa.

The Gender Attitudes Survey results show that while most New Zealanders recognise gender equality is a fundamental right for all of us, there are still some old fashioned ideas about what girls and women can do and be, and even more about what boys and men “should” be like – and what makes a “real man”.

  • 11% of New Zealanders think fathers should have more say than mothers in making family decisions.
  • 1 in 10 New Zealanders don’t think it’s OK for boys to play netball.
  • 41% of New Zealanders think being a builder is more suited to men.
  • 24% of New Zealanders think rape happens when a man’s sex drive is out of control.

Good Guys Spokesperson and It’s Not OK Champion Jeremy Epairama says “These ideas of what makes a ‘real man’ hurt all of us. They lead to heavy drinking, poor health and dangerous driving and they contribute to men’s violence towards women and other genders.”

Jeremy is one of eight Good Guys Spokespeople that are working with Gender Equal NZ to encourage New Zealanders to stand up to these old-fashioned views and help drive change.

Gender Equal NZ wants all New Zealanders to question ideas about “real men” that get in the way of men being Good Guys – with good relationships with their kids, partners, friends and everyone else.

The full Gender Attitudes Survey results as well as the Good Guys animated film and infographic can be viewed at

To our members and supporters – happy Founders’ Day.

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