So pop on your flats, heels, boots, even Wellingtons would be totes appropes (!) – and prepare to march on down to the polling booth. And remember, we’d love YOU to post a picture or video of YOUR choice of #votingshoes. Tag us on twitter @WMNewZealand or on share on our Facebook page.
Women’s March Aotearoa New Zealand needs your help to inspire more women to vote in the September 2017 general election with our #WhyIVote action using the hashtags #katesentme#whyIvote#hearourvoice and #votingshoes
In the footsteps of…
When you get your #votingshoes on, you’ll be an illustrious line of New Zealand women who have voted since November 18, 1893.
The first known image of women voting in a general election anywhere in the world was taken on Brougham Street, New Plymouth, on election day in 1893. A large group of people – including women voters – are standing outside the Provincial Council building where the polling was held.
By getting your #votingshoes on you’ll be honouring the mahi of those who came before – like Meri Te Tai Mangakahia of Ngati Te Reinga, Ngati Manawa and Te Kaitutae, three hapu of Te Rarawa.
Meri was the first women to ever address a Parliament in Aotearoa. According to Te Ara online encyclopaedia, on 18 May 1893 the Speaker of the lower house of the Kotahitanga parliament introduced Meri’s motion, which requested that women be given the right to participate in the selection of members. She was asked to come into the house to explain her motion, and later that day she addressed the parliament – the first woman recorded to have done so.
Meri asked not only that Maori women be given the vote, but that they be eligible to sit in the Maori parliament, thus going a step further than the aims of the suffrage movement led by Kate Sheppard.
And our Facebook logo has a cameo appearance from 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 the Women’s Suffrage Petition, a petition that helped women get the vote in 1893, but her success and that of her team of suffragists inspired suffrage movements all over the world.
Today, the hard work is supporting women to exercise that hard-won right to vote. As Kate said “Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops.”
So talk to your whanau, friends and family to ask them to vote this election. Tell them #katesentme
Photo: Kate Wilson Sheppard. White Ribbon . Ref: PUBL-0089-1914-001. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23087309