Celebrating Suffrage Day

Women's Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew hosted a breakfast at Parliament this morning to celebrate Suffrage Day.

“This Suffrage Day let’s reaffirm our commitment to ensuring New Zealand continues to be a world leader in gender equality,” Mrs Goodhew said.

Suffrage Day marks the anniversary of those who pioneered New Zealand women's right to vote in 1893.

“On 19 September 119 years ago we made history. We broke down barriers for women in society and subsequently helped change world attitudes. Today we celebrate the suffragists who fought for women’s rights and those women and men today who are continuing to progress gender equality.

“New Zealand continues to be well-regarded internationally for our gender equality. But we still need to work towards greater economic independence, improved safety from violence and increased representation in all levels and types of leadership for our women.

“The Government is committed to doing its part to make this a reality. For example, initiatives under the Reducing Crime and Reoffending result action plan will increase women’s safety from violence and Reducing Long-term Benefit Dependence and Boosting Skills and Employment initiatives will help women achieve greater economic independence.

“However the Government cannot do this alone. The long struggle of the suffragists shows us it takes much time and effort to bring about lasting change. The challenge now is for role models, mentors and policy makers to encourage young women to achieve greater economic independence and fulfil their leadership potential.”