The Human Rights Commission has welcomed today’s commitment from the Chief of New Zealand’s Defence Forces to improve gender equity across the nation’s armed forces.
“This morning Lt Gen Tim Keating told us the time for talking about gender equity is over – the time for action is here, the time for gender equity in New Zealand’s Defence forces is here,” said EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue.
“We stand behind the NZ Defence Force’s commitment to creating positive change in terms of their own gender equity outcomes.”
Lt Gen Keating and Dr Blue were both speakers at an event hosted by the NZ Defence Force to mark International Women’s Day this morning. This year’s theme is Pledge for Parity, with Lt Gen Keating joining leaders from across the world pledging to take action as champions of gender equity.
“It is heartening to see that our defence force has an active programme to increase the recruitment, retention and senior level promotion of women, progress has been slow but it is a start,” said Dr Blue.
“Bullying and harassment has dropped from 19% to 10.4% recently, this compares to the public service’s rate of 25% and 49% for surgical practices across Australasia. We encourage the NZ Defence Force to continue with their commitment to address bullying in their ranks.”
“Importantly our Defence Force is concerned about and working to address the under-reporting of bullying and harassment amongst their own: this is the kind of honest and open response our entire public service can learn from.”
The NZ Defence Force recently won national recognition in last year’s YWCA Equal Pay Awards for a range of initiatives including automated pay progression based on skills and experience, and using independent input to appoint people to roles.