The Human Rights Commission is welcoming today’s launch of the United Nation’s “He for She” gender equality campaign in New Zealand.

“Gender equality is a human right that half of all New Zealanders are yet to realise: we need the other half to stand alongside us,” said EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue.

“Involving men and boys is about truly standing shoulder to shoulder, side by side. Equality should not be a fight women have to lead on their own.”

HeForShe is a global UN initiative promote gender equality around the world with a focus on men taking an active role.

Dr Blue said New Zealand’s White Ribbon Campaign is an excellent example of men working shouder to shoulder with women.

“White Ribbon is about men making a public stand against violence and their voices and participation are crucial,” said Dr Blue.

“With gender equity male business leaders also have a key role to play as they dominate publicly listed boards (86%) and senior management teams at 80%.”

“New Zealand women were the first in the world to vote in a general election, more than a century later we need to aim to be the first nation in the world where women have equal opportunities and where there is a zero gender pay gap,” said Dr Blue.