A journalist, comedian and the national police chief are among 21 Kiwi men who are championing a campaign to end inequality between men and women by 2030.

Journalist Jack Tame says men should be proud to call themselves feminists when they sign up to the "HeforShe" campaign launched at the United Nations last year by actress Emma Watson and kicking off in New Zealand in Wellington today.

Journalist Jack Tame says men should be proud to call themselves feminists.
Journalist Jack Tame says men should be proud to call themselves feminists.

"In the past some men might have felt uncomfortable calling themselves feminists, which is crazy when you think about it," Tame said from New York, where he is TVNZ's US correspondent.

"For me, being pro-women doesn't make you anti-men, it just makes you pro-people."

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The campaign asks men to commit through social media to "taking action against gender discrimination and violence in order to build a more just and equal world".

The website sponsored by UN Women says 509,850 men have signed so far. It says 2547 men have signed in New Zealand.

Former Green MP Sue Kedgley, who has organised today's launch, said she asked 21 men to champion the cause because they all had "a credible record in supporting gender equality".

Comedian Jeremy Elwood said he had no connection with the cause except "in the same way that all men have, whether they are aware of it or not".

"Once we see the issue for what it is, discrimination, then fixing it requires no seismic shift, just a transition to equal wages, equal treatment and equal respect," he said.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he signed up because police were proactively recruiting and promoting women.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he signed up because police were proactively recruiting and promoting women.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said he signed up because police were proactively recruiting and promoting women.

Ms Kedgley said ending inequality by 2030 would mean women and men would earn the same pay for equal jobs, participate equally in childcare and domestic chores, take equal parental leave and have equal numbers in Parliament, Cabinet, senior management and boards.

"Violence against women will be a rare and unusual crime," she said. "Professions that women are clustered in, like caring and nursing, will be well paid and well respected."

heforshe.org