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Suffrage stories highlighted for 125 commemorations

Media release: 8 March 2018

Today is International Women’s Day and this year we commemorate 125 years since women won the right to vote in Aotearoa.

“Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage is commemorating Suffrage 125 by telling the stories of people who have made a difference for women and fought for gender equality in New Zealand,” says Heather Baggott, Group Manager Delivery.

“Many New Zealanders from a diverse range of backgrounds have done extraordinary things to create significant positive social change for all New Zealanders and Manatū Taonga is bringing these stories to life.

“The stories highlight and celebrate the contributions of people from diverse backgrounds, and make known the previously untold stories of the many New Zealanders who have contributed to positive social change for women.

“Manatū Taonga has considerable content on its NZHistory, Te Ara and Dictionary of New Zealand Biography websites about suffrage, the women’s movement and key women in history. We are committed to highlighting existing stories and contributing new ones throughout the year.

“The new content includes thought-provoking material highlighting the diversity of issues and people involved in the women’s movement in the past and present, illustrating enduring concerns over the years as well as changing approaches to handling these.

“New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world to give women the right to vote in parliamentary elections and as this year’s Suffrage 125 commemorations unfold we will highlight the contributions of the people and the events which have shaped our history.

Suffrage 125 commemorates 125 years since the Electoral Act giving New Zealand women the right to vote was signed on 19 September 1893.

“This is cause for celebration and reflection, as we draw inspiration from those women we have profiled to continue the fight for equity,” Heather Baggott said.

Updated on 8th March 2018