Story: Human rights

Gender discrimination in employment, 1977

Gender discrimination in employment, 1977

The Human Rights Commission Act 1977 prohibited sex and marital status as grounds for discrimination. Equal pay had legally been established in the public sector in 1960 and in the private sector in 1972. Despite government commitments to equal employment opportunities, gender equality in employment remained an issue in New Zealand in the 2000s. Jobs with large numbers of female employees were often relatively low-paid, while women in higher-paid occupations were still often paid less than their male counterparts. This 1977 cartoon mocks the notion that women – pictured laden down with babies and groceries – are too physically weak for some jobs.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: H-709-034
Cartoon by Anthony J. Hunter

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Paul Rishworth, 'Human rights - Freedom from discrimination', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 30 November 2023)

Story by Paul Rishworth, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Jun 2016