Culture

New Zealand Women Vote #OnThisDay

On 28th of November 1893 women in New Zealand voted in a General Election.

Credit: Robert Cutts, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

As in many countries, including the UK, the suffrage societies had been campaigning peacefully to extend the franchise to women. In New Zealand several petitions had been received by the country’s lawmakers for the extension of the vote to women.

The 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition is on display at He Tohu, a permanent exhibition of three constitutional documents that shape Aotearoa New Zealand.

When Governor Glasgow signed the Electoral Bill on 19 September 1893, New Zealand became the first self-governing nation in the world where women had won the right to vote. The Bill was the outcome of years of meetings in towns and cities across the country, with women often travelling considerable distances to hear lectures and speeches, pass resolutions and sign petitions.

The Women’s Suffrage Petition

You can find out more here: Women and the vote

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