New Zealand’s famous women speak on Suffrage

Supplied Content
Wellington, September 18, 2018
Tomorrow marks 125 years since the law was changed to allow woman in New Zealand to vote. To commemorate the achievements of Kiwi women, the Human Rights Commission has produced several pieces of content which you may want to add to your Suffrage Day coverage.
Hear our female Leaders
Here is a link to a compelling one-minute video which includes former Prime Minister Helen Clarke, former Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, Broadcaster Hilary Barry and Constitutional Law Expert Mai Chen, among other inspiring women who share their personal insights on suffrage, gender equality as well as the inequalities that still exist in New Zealand. A transcript of the video is available further below.

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Quotes from the one-minute video
Helen Clark
Helen Clark, first elected female New Zealand Prime Minister:

“First, when one thinks back what a remarkable thing it was that an all-male Parliament in New Zealand voted for women to be able to vote. That was an essential first step in the political emancipation of women: 1919 the right to stand in elections came, 1933 the first woman MP, 1947 the first woman cabinet minister, but all these things became possible because of the right to vote being won.”
Justice Susan Glazebrook
Justice Dame Susan Glazebrook Judge of the Supreme Court of New Zealand
“Generally, I think the suffragists would be horrified by the sorts of human rights issues faced by women and their families that still exist in New Zealand.”
Hilary Barry
“There is a problem with women being paid equally for equal work and it’s even worse for Māori and Pasifika women and it’s simply not fair and we need to right that wrong.”
Theresa Gattung
(Businesswoman, Author and Philanthropist)
“We don’t have 50/50 female and male members of Parliament. We are so far from gender equity at the top levels of business it’s not even funny and we’re going nowhere.”
Dr Jackie Blue
(Equal Employment Opportunities and Women’s Rights Commissioner)
“I’m sure Kate (Sheppard) today would not want us to keep going back to 125 years saying this is the benchmark. She’d be wanting us to forge our own path for gender equality.”
Vanisa Dhiru
(National President, National Council of Women New Zealand)
“It’s 125 years later this year that we have seen the suffrage petition make change for New Zealand women. We need a major change now to bring equality to this country.”
Mai Chen
(Managing Partner, Chen Palmer Partners)
“Before I die, what I would like is just to live in a society where people are judged not by the colour of their skin or by their gender. But that people are judged on the basis of who they are and on the basis of their character.”
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