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New Zealand MPs Unite to Celebrate Suffrage Day

New Zealand Group

For immediate release18 September 2018

New Zealand MPs Unite to Celebrate Suffrage Day and Historic Milestones for Women in Politics

New Zealand MPs, male and female, left and right, and everything in between, will come together over breakfast tomorrow morning to celebrate 125 years of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. The breakfast has been convened by the Co-Chairpersons of the New Zealand Group of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP), Louisa Wall MP and Jo Hayes MP, and the Deputy Speaker, Hon Anne Tolley, as a poignant start to an important day of celebration and reflection.

The CWP NZ is part of one of the largest international women’s organisations in the world. Founded in 1989, with a mandate to work towards increasing women’s participation in Parliament, act on gender-related issues, and mainstream gender considerations in the development of policy and legislation. It is a unique forum for women MPs from across the political spectrum to come together and promote gender equality.

“We are privileged to hear from the first woman Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley, and Dame Hon Ann Hercus, the first Minister for Women and the first women to hold the Police ministerial portfolio. All 48 current women parliamentarians will be presented with a symbolic gift commemorating their service in the New Zealand Parliament, along with their unique number representing their place out of the 149 women who have been elected to Parliament in our history.” the Co-Chairpersons said.

“We are heartened that in 2018, 40 percent of our MPs are women; a record for our Parliament, which places us at number 20 in the world for gender equality in parliaments. We boast a woman Prime Minister, Governor-General, Chief Justice, Deputy Speaker, Deputy Leader of the Opposition, and two senior Whips are women, in addition to three Chairs of Select Committees. As we acknowledge all of the strong, pioneering women who have come before us, and reflect on their journeys, we must gather momentum to break inequalities and stereotypes that still hold us back today. Despite how far we have come in 125 years, there is still ground to be broken and this will only happen when women and men from all sides of the political spectrum come together and advocate for change”.


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