September 16, 2011

Sufferage Day 19 September

You always knew NZ women were awesome but did you know they were the first in the world (as a country) to be allowed to vote? We celebrate this each year on the 19th of September.

So what does Wellington have planned for Sufferage Day? We discovered not much.

There is an exhibition at Archives NZ

The exhibition is open to the public till 26 September 9-5 Monday-Friday at the National Archives, 10 Mulgrave Street, Thorndon.

You can even view or order a scanned copy of the petition online.

There is an exhibition at the main Hutt City Library

The exhibition is open to the public 12-26 September during normal opening hours.

These two exhibitions are essentially the same: a copy of the petition for you to flip though, a series of posters and a dummy with a sandwich board. The sandwich board is the most interesting part. It is an advertisement (presumably from the Archives) saying the proprietor will not serve women seeking the vote and instead they should go home, feed their husbands and look after their children. The only difference between the two exhibits is that the actual petition is on view at Archives...or at least it is meant to be, it certainly wasn't earlier in the week.

Overall this is disappointing, calling these exhibitions is a bit of a stretch. Wellington is the political capital of New Zealand, the first country to grant women the right to vote. New Zealand is currently hosting visitors from all over the world surely we can do more than this to showcase one of our proudest moments in history?

For more information on Suffrage 2011 check out the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

You can even search the petition online to see if one of your ancestors signed.

If you want to read a cheap book on Sufferage here is a recent deal for Leading the Way. How New Zealand Women Won the Vote

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