Speak up

Speak up: Small actions make big change

Monday 8 March is International Women’s Day. We are proud to be part of this global celebration that creates action for accelerating equality where everyone has a voice, and everyone is heard. Let’s challenge stereotypes, broaden perceptions, support each other, improve situations, fight bias and celebrate women’s achievements.


Along with some links to resources, below are some simple ways to help you Speak Up this March.


We’d love to add to this list, so let us know your thoughts by email through the link below or head to our Facebook page and join the conversation.

Small actions make big change

  • The secret to speaking up well can actually be to listen more, to think more and to read widely. When we understand more about why people may think differently and why they behave in certain ways, we are able to connect with them in a caring way, and gently start the conversation. Link here.
  • Learn about bias and how you can fight it. Link here.
  • It’s more fun to learn with others. Collaborate in your learning about gender bias and run a workshop in your workplace using this great resource. Link here.
  • Practise speaking up. Start conversations with your friends and whānau. Share your thoughts with the people you’re most comfortable with.
  • Teach your children about equality and diversity. Difference is what makes us unique and should be celebrated.
Use your privilege
  • We all have privilege in different situations and understanding your privilege in the moment might help you to speak up for those who can’t. Being an ally can help start the conversation towards positive change. Link here.
  • Understanding your privilege may mean realising that not every conversation needs your voice. But when it does, speak up.
  • Leading a work meeting? Make sure everyone has had a chance to speak and that everyone is heard.
Join in
  • Sign or start your own petition. Organisations like ActionStation are independent, crowdfunded, community campaigning organisations and they provide a great vehicle for adding your voice in areas that need change. Keep an eye out for campaigns that advance New Zealand’s work in gender and equality.
  • Volunteering gets you learning while doing. There are amazing organisations who support women and marginalised groups. Grab your friends, or do it alone and become a volunteer!
  • “Well behaved women seldom make history.” – Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.
    New Zealanders have a strong history of speaking up for what’s right. March, protest, lobby or start your own movement. People power snowballs. Link here.
  • Challenge gender stereotyping and the language used.
  • Amplify under-represented voices. Contribute to organisations speaking out for women, minorities, or for those that can’t speak for themselves. Every cent helps. Take a look at the list below to find an opportunity to contribute.
  • Spend with heart. Use your dollar to help people before profit. In a world dominated by multi-national trade, small producers miss out. Support local, social enterprise or women-led businesses. We love Nisa an underwear label that employs refugee women. Or how about supporting the Wā  Collective who address period poverty in New Zealand.
  • What you wear can celebrate, empower, change a viewpoint or suggest something good. Link here.
  • Celebrate change for the better, and share it with the world.
  • You may not be there to see the change you are trying to create, but if you plant the seeds, change will grow.
  • Follow diverse people on social media platforms and amplify their voices.
  • Talk and make friends with people who are different from you.

Check out some groups doing great stuff to support women in your community
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Family Planning
  • Plunket
  • Shine
  • Women’s Refuge
  • UN Women Aotearoa NZ
  • Maori Women’s Welfare League
  • Pacific Women’s Watch
  • Rape Crisis
  • National Council of Women of NZ

Everyday actions can create change for the better. So make some noise and let’s challenge stereotypes, broaden perceptions, support each other, fight bias and celebrate women’s achievements!