NCWNZ’s Focus


The National Council of Women of New Zealand’s vision is a gender equal NZ. We want all New Zealanders to have the freedom and opportunity to determine their own future.

NCWNZ’s focus is on tackling the causes of gender inequality rather than the symptoms. Driving the cultural change needed to shift the dominating beliefs and processes that prevent equality from being a reality.

Our work targets four areas of inequality that prevent New Zealand from moving forward:

  • safety and health – domestic and sexual violence, sexual and reproductive health, access to healthcare including abortion, and mental health issues
  • economic independence – poverty rates including minimum wage, occupational segregation, workplace participation, childcare, caregiving and unpaid work, and pay equity issues
  • education – gender roles and subjects, early childhood education supporting diversity, consent and healthy relationships programmes, and sexual and gender diversity
  • influence and decision making – rates of women in management, governance, leadership and decision-making roles in the political, private and voluntary sectors

NCWNZ is particularly focussed on changing our gender culture – improving our attitudes, actions and language around gender. We need to reduce the influential gender stereotyping that starts from birth. For too many people in New Zealand, this stereotyping seriously limits their life choices and opportunities.

Reducing sexism in our culture is essential if current programmes to get more women into leadership, reduce violence against women, eliminate the pay gap and improve women’s financial situation are to succeed.

Our white paper: Enabling Women’s Potential – the social, economic and ethical imperative, released in November 2015, provides more rationale for our work.