Our work

New Zealand has made a great deal of progress on women rights but there is still work that is needed. The Human Rights Commission works to reduce discrimination based on sex. This includes work on equal pay, gender-based violence, sexual harassment, breastfeeding and more. Women's right are set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and more explicitly referred to in the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Beijing Platform for Action.

CEDAW, is the principal international instrument on the rights of women. The Convention’s focus is on eliminating all forms of discrimination against women so that substantive equality, which requires equality in practice and the elimination of structural forms of inequality, can be achieved.

The CEDAW describes the three obligations that are central to state parties’ efforts to eliminate discrimination against women as:

  1. To ensure that there is no direct or indirect discrimination in their laws and that women are protected against discrimination – whether committed by public authorities, the judiciary, organisations, enterprises or private individuals – in the public as well as the private spheres, by competent tribunals as well as by sanctions and other remedies. 
  2. To improve the de facto position of women through concrete and effective policies and programmes. 
  3. To address prevailing gender relations and the persistence of gender-based stereotypes that affect women, not only through individual acts by individuals but also in the law, and legal and societal structures and institutions. 
Sexual Harrasment

Sexual Harrasment

Under the Human Rights Act 1993 two types of sexual harassment are prohibited

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding

The human right to food and nutrition, including breastmilk, is well established in international human rights principles and law.

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Family Violence Policy

Family Violence Policy

Employers and workplaces can play a vital role in assisting victims of violence.

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Caring counts

Caring counts

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