Kate Sheppard, if she was around today, would have been on the Women’s March. You could say she was the original Women’s Marcher.
Not only did she send out women on foot, by horseback, by train all across Aotearoa New Zealand to gather signatures for Women’s Suffrage Petition but her success and that of her team of suffragists inspired suffrage movements all over the world.
The right to vote passed into law on September 19, 1893, after a long, hard road of debate, organising, petitioning, and canvassing all around the motu. The petition was signed by 32,000 women, thought to be a quarter of all the women in New Zealand back then. Sheppard led the movement with intelligence, charm, energy, and hard work.
Today, the hard work is supporting women to exercise that hard-won right to vote.
In the spirit of Sheppard and her team of suffragists, it is now time to get smart about the issues and the candidates in the general election.
Talk to your whanau, friends and family to tell them #whyIvote, to make sure that everyone knows #katesentme so this election everyone will #hearourvoice.