Friday, November 25, 2011

New ZEaland Election 2011.

I voted today, and not every woman had a vote in our history.

I am very proud of Kate Sheppard. Her image appears on our ten dollar note. She is mainly responsible for New Zealand to be the first country to give women the vote in modern times.

Katherine Wilson Sheppard (10 March 1847 – 13 July 1934) was the most prominent member of New Zealand's women's suffrage movement, and is the country's most famous suffragette. Because New Zealand was the first country to introduce universal suffrage, Sheppard's work had a considerable impact on women's suffrage movements in other countries. During one of the protest movement, she led a whole group of ladies to lie down on the road and the police couldn't do anything.

Sheppard played a considerable part in getting the women's suffrage bill was successfully passed, granting women full voting rights. Sheppard herself was widely acknowledged as the leader of the women's suffrage movement.

An elderly friend in her 80s told me that when she was growing up, the girls wanted to be like Kate.
"On 19 September 1893 the governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

In most other democracies – notably Britain and the United States – women did not win the right to the vote until after the First World War. New Zealand's world leadership in women's suffrage became a central part of our image as a trail-blazing 'social laboratory'."

I felt very funny at how flimsy the ballot boxes are, They are just card board boxes. In 1974, Sarawak had a election. As a teacher in Kai Chung school, together with Miss Chieng, i was invited to count the votes.

It was serious busniess, the ballot boxes were made of heavy metal and had a strong padlock. I felt very important that night. An experience I will tell my grand children about. I suppose I can consider that as one of my bucket list.


Ginny said...

I didn't know anything about Katherine Sheppard! And I didn't know your country was the first to give women the vote, cheers to her!! The voting room looks deserted,. Here we go in a small booth and pull a curtain across.

Ginny said...

Hey, the first comment is me, Ginny!! For some reason my iPad is using my old sign in mane from before I had a blog!

Ensurai said...

Very interesting lesson!! Thanks.