120 years of Women’s Suffrage in New Zealand

In 1893 today New Zealand became the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in national elections. South Australia was the next country to grant women the vote in 1895, although it was not until 1902 after Australia federated that women acquired the right to vote and stand for federal elections. Aboriginal women in Australia were not given the full voting rights until 1962. Make sure your voting details are up to date to take part in this years election by visiting http://www.elections.org.nz/

kate sheppard

Above: An illustrated portrait of Kate Sheppard (leader of the women’s suffrage movement in New Zealand)appears on the New Zealand ten dollar note.

That New Zealand women were given the vote so early can be largely credited to the actions taken by early suffragettes who were extremely proactive in petitioning and gaining public interest in the logic of their cause. There is a talk this Saturday 1pm, at the Gus Fisher Gallery in Auckland by artist and Cultural Icon Claudia Pond Eyley, about her mural on Khartoum Place in memory of the Suffragette’s.

There have been allot of positive changes and developments since then but there’s still plenty more to be done! You can read excerpts from this years speech in commemoration of Women’s Suffrage day by New Zealand’s Minister of Women’s Affairs Jo Goodhew  here and an interesting info-graphic produced by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs below…

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