Trailblazers – New Zealand Women and the Vote

Copy of NZ Women Suffragettes Petition to Parliament
Copy of NZ Women Suffragettes Petition to Parliament

New Zealand suffrage campaigners led by Kate Sheppard have been described as “Trailblazers”  in their fight for New Zealand women to achieve the right to vote.

After a 7-year-long campaign this right was finally achieved when, on the 19th September 1893, a new Electoral Act was enacted allowing New Zealand women the right to vote in parliamentary elections. This was no mean feat as in most other democratic countries women did not gain this right until after the end of the First World War.

Let us celebrate this extraordinary achievement by exercising our right to vote in the forthcoming election. There is no better way of honouring the sacrifices and struggles of our sisters all those years ago than by ensuring that we are all enrolled to vote and exercise that right in this year’s election This, my sisters, is my challenge to you.

Check out the display at Shirley Library which celebrates the way in which women’s suffrage was achieved, as well as capturing some of the hostility and opposition that the movement encountered.

Cover of Leading the Way Cover of Women's Suffrage in New Zealand  Cover of The Suffragists  Cover of The Ascent of Woman  Cover of Unsung Heroines

2 thoughts on “Trailblazers – New Zealand Women and the Vote

  1. Gallivanta 9 September 2014 / 5:34 pm

    Agreed. I love listening to old sound archives where women describe what it was like to vote for the first time. I wish we all felt that excitement about voting.

    • ruby2shoesnz 10 September 2014 / 11:27 am

      Yes I agree. Imagine if, (like it still is in some countries), women could not vote here in NZ; there would be an uproar!!
      Thanks for your comment.
      cheers

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