The Human Rights Act protects people in New Zealand from discrimination. The purpose of the Human Rights Commission is to promote and protect the human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand, working for a fair, safe and just New Zealand where human dignity and rights are respected.
In 2015 and in 2016 the New Zealand Human Rights Commission supported International Women's Day.
In 2016 the New Zealand Human Rights Commission supported International Girl's Day.
This support from the Commission has been by way of posts on social media - particularly facebook - supporting the recognised awareness days for women and girls.
In neither 2015 nor in 2016 did the New Zealand Human Rights Commission support International Men's Day. There were no posts on social media supporting them.
As a New Zealander I feel that the human rights of our men and boys are not treated as seriously as the rights of women and girls in this country. This is certainly - and obviously - true of our government organisations.
The objectives of celebrating an International Men's Day include focusing on men's and boys' health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting male role models. It is an occasion to highlight discrimination against men and boys and to celebrate their achievements and contributions. In particular we recognise their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The broader and ultimate aim of the event is to promote basic humanitarian values.
There are many issues that disproportionately affect men and boys in our country negatively. Given the lack of support for the internationally recognised awareness day to highlight issues affecting men and boys, I feel like the New Zealand Government through our Human Rights Commission has little concern for any of the human rights violations that negatively affect our male population.
According to the Commission's website, "Indirect discrimination is when an action or policy that appears to treat everyone the same actually discriminates against someone. For example, if the only entrance to a shop is by climbing stairs, that indirectly discriminates against someone who uses a wheelchair." I would like the Human Rights Commission to explain to the New Zealand people why it appears to show preference to one gender over the other, and indirectly discriminates against men and boys by showing preference to women with public displays of support for their needs and none for the needs of New Zealand males.
We all have the right to be treated with respect, dignity and equity. The Commission’s vision is that people in Aotearoa New Zealand live together harmoniously, sharing a common respect for each other’s inherent dignity and human rights. In light of it's own values, the failing of the Commission to treat male and female citizens equally and without discrimination is a failing beyond comprehension.
Our nation's leaders, and especially those who are tasked with ensuring that the people are treated in accordance with our human rights legislation, need to 'man up' and face the facts. We are a sexist society, and we tolerate misandry and bias in almost every facet of male life - from infancy to old age.
We can do better. We need to do better. Next year we will hold our national elections. You need to do better.