Gender allies needed to make better, faster progress on equality

Men must join the action in greater numbers for gender equality in Aotearoa New Zealand to be achieved, results from the latest Gender Attitudes Survey show.

“We need everyone to step up as allies. It’s time for action and with collective effort, we can make a real difference,” National Council of Women New Zealand President Suzanne Manning said today, releasing the report at an online event with Minister for Women Jan Tinetti and EEO Commissioner Karanina Sumeo.

“We have made some good progress on gender equality since this survey began six years ago but some worrying attitudes are still far too prevalent – including belief in rape myths and the comparitively low number of people concerned about online harassment. We know both issues are a big problem, and we need everyone on board to tackle them,” Suzanne Manning said. 

“This latest survey confirms that there is still a significant way to go before we can genuinely say that gender equality in Aotearoa New Zealand has been achieved,” she said.

The biennial survey is a report card on Aotearoa New Zealand’s progress towards gender equality and opinions about gender norms. It asked: How well are we doing in terms of achieving gender equality; whether New Zealanders have particular opinions about the genders, and what are New Zealanders’ opinions about gender and sexual diversity.

Results show:

  • Many more people think we’re doing well in achieving gender equality than was the case six years ago (41% from 31%)

  • Almost half (48%) think gender equality has, for the most part, been achieved. This is an increase from four years ago (42%, 2019). However, one in every five people (22%) think that gender equality has gone ‘too far’ in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • While almost three quarters of respondents (74%) believe online harassment is a serious problem, men are less likely to agree it influences how women are treated in ‘real life’ (66% v 76%) or that women are exposed to more online harassment than men (57% v 63%).

  • Rape myths persist with 30% of respondents believing ‘rape happens when a man’s sex drive is out of control’. More men (36%) than women (25%) believed this. More men (41%) than women (26%) believe false rape accusations are common.

  • Most people would be comfortable with gay and bisexual men and lesbian and bisexual women in a range of situations (e.g., being parent, colleagues, politicians), although this was generally more likely the case with women than men.

  • The number of people who were comfortable with transgender and non-binary gender people has increased in the last four years, for example, 75% of people stated they would be comfortable with a trans woman as part of their immediate family compared with 63% in 2019.

For the full results and more information, visit the Gender Equal website.


For more information, or to interview Dr Suzanne Manning please contact 022 655 6512 or email us.

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