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Tue 19th September 2006

113 years on, equality battle continues

Filed under: General — tonyf @ 9:32 pm

4.00pm Tuesday September 19, 2006
By Lindy Laird

New Zealand women won the right to vote in New Zealand 113 years ago today – but that didn’t mean equality issues were all over bar the shouting.

“It took another 70 years of nagging” before women could sit on juries, be Justices of the Peace or work as police officers, says longtime women’s lobbyist Audrey Trimmer.

Equal pay and parity in employment was one of the more high-profile ongoing battles, along with the campaign to reduce violence in society.

“Everybody is amazed when I tell them that there is still an an ongoing struggle on behalf of women,” Mrs Trimmer says.

“There are so many things we take for granted now that wouldn’t have happened if the National Council for Women hadn’t lobbied hard for and made submissions to parliament.”

Mrs Trimmer fears that, although lobby groups will continue to work on rights and quality of life issues, younger generations had become blase about the events of 1893 which saw New Zealand lead the world in allowing women to vote.

“I think it’s a shame that New Zealand history isn’t taught to the level it should be in schools.”

Christine Low, national president of the group that represents up to 250,000 women belonging to a wide variety of affiliated groups, said it was ironic that women’s groups were still fighting for some of the same issues fought for by the suffragettes.

“We have made some gains but it’s far from over. There’s still an awful lot of work to do not only for women but to benefit all of New Zealand society.

“Freedom from violence, in particular,” Ms Low said. “Calling it domestic violence just pigeonholes it. It’s much broader than that. And pay equity is still but a distant dream for many.”

* Women in Mongolia had the vote (1924) before women in Britain (1928). In Spain women lost the vote in 1936 under the Franco regime and didn’t get it back until 1976. In Australia the end of legislative discrimination against Aboriginal peoples gave native women the vote in 1962. Swiss women were allowed to vote after 1971, and in Bahrain women gained the vote in 2001.

– NZPA

NOTE: The comments expressed in these articles may not reflect that of the post author

6 Responses to “113 years on, equality battle continues”

  1. Stephen says:

    Men in nz are still soley subject to the 1951 defense act which stipulates they alone between the ages of 18 and 45 will be called upon to defend nz from territorial aggression.
    Men in nz, unlike women there don’t have their owm government ministry despite the fact that their stress related disease and morbidity rates are much higher.

    This website is for –

    Promoting a clearer understanding of men’s experience

    Yet you seem to be recently offering up nothing other than anti-male feminist propaganda.

    Are you supportive of men or trying to advance a feminist agenda?

  2. tonyf says:

    Hi Stephen,

    This website is for –
    Promoting a clearer understanding of men’s experience

    preceeded by:

    Men in nz are still soley subject to the 1951 defense act which stipulates they alone between the ages of 18 and 45 will be called upon to defend nz from territorial aggression.
    Men in nz, unlike women there don’t have their owm government ministry despite the fact that their stress related disease and morbidity rates are much higher.

    Isn’t that what you are doing?

  3. julie says:

    “Everybody is amazed when I tell them that there is still an an ongoing struggle on behalf of women,” Mrs Trimmer says.

    Well, Mrs Trimmer, the reason everyone is amazed is because common sense is prevailing. Women take safer jobs that is why they get paid less. Men risk their lives in many jobs and for a high posssibility of dying during the job they get paid more.

    Women are suffering because you are not listening to them. That don’t need or want to be victims any longer.

    Freedom from violence will come from allowing men and women equal rights and obligations.

  4. UF says:

    “Yet you seem to be recently offering up nothing other than anti-male feminist propaganda.

    Are you supportive of men or trying to advance a feminist agenda?”

    was preceeded by…

    NOTE: The comments expressed in these articles may not reflect that of the post author .

    Promoting discussion stephen – ever heard of shooting the messenger?

  5. JohnP says:

    I think it is useful to learn the names of people like “longtime women’s lobbyist Audrey Trimmer”.

    A Wangarei father might encounter her in another context, have the sense to Google her name, and find this article demonstrating her bias.

    Statements by feminist activists are definitely on-topic, especially when we disagree strongly.

  6. Stephen says:

    toni f,
    Of course I’ve heard of promoting a discussion.
    But I reckon it looks very suspicious, and rather gutless to throw up inflamatory material whilst OPTING OUT OF DISCUSSING IT yourself.
    If you did, I’d respect you much more.

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