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NZDF Leadership puts gender equality firmly in its sights

Two years after adopting the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) has furthered its commitment to gender equality by developing a Gender Equality Charter.

08 March, 2022

All 13 members of the NZDF Executive Committee have signed the Charter, which demonstrates commitment to the intentional and proactive progression of gender equality throughout the organisation.

The Executive Committee provides strong and visible leadership for the NZDF, and is responsible for the oversight of NZDF’s performance, meeting organisational and operational requirements and delivery of long-term NZDF strategy.

Together they have agreed to hold up four tenets of the Charter aligned to NZDF organisational values:

  1. Have the courage to stand up and call out behaviour
  2. Commit to shift the system for gender equality
  3. Show active allyship in supporting gender equality
  4. Take ownership and accountability for gender equality. 

Chief of Defence Force Air Marshal Kevin Short says the NZDF’s adoption of the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles and the Gender Equality Charter shows the organisation’s commitment to progressing gender equality.

“This International Women’s Day, the NZDF Executive Committee share the commitment they have made to champion gender equality within the NZDF. 

“While achievements have been made globally in the progression of gender equality, we recognise the need to acknowledge that gender bias, stereotyping and discrimination exists, and that we must be proactive in addressing these issues. 

“Each NZDF Executive Committee member is committed to taking action to progress gender equality within the NZDF and enable our organisation to gain the benefits of an inclusive and gender diverse Defence Force.” 

To put the Charter into action, each senior leadership team supporting the Executive Committee members will also become signatories to the Charter and through an accompanying workshop, agree to ways the tenets can be put into action in their workplaces. 

The Charter will also be included in induction training for all new NZDF military and civilian personnel.