120 milestone for women’s vote
Tomorrow marks 120 years since women have had the right to vote.
University of Auckland doctoral student Octavia Calder-Dawe is one of many women who will be celebrating the milestone. But after more than a century of women’s right to vote she also says the fight for equal rights isn’t over.
‘‘The word ‘ feminist’ is almost an insult to some people – that’s just crazy, everyone should be a feminist. We’re facing some really knotty problems. One place to start would be challenging the rigid, gendered rules and expectations society pushes on to men and women.’’
As part of her PhD in psychology, Ms Calder- Dawe is researching the everyday sexism present in popular media.
‘‘I wanted to work with young people . . . and develop some ideas for positive social change. I’ve been really inspired by the students who I’ve worked with so far.’’
Talking with families and educating schools about gender stereotypes is one way she believes equal rights can be pursued. Her thoughts are echoed by the Electoral Commission which is celebrating the 120-year anniversary by introducing three education initiatives – classroom resources, an academic scholarship and a poster competition.
The commission’s new teaching resource called ‘‘Your Voice, Your Choice: Votes for Women’’ has a range of activities to help educate students.
‘‘[It’s] designed to develop students’ understanding of New Zealand women’s campaign to win the right to vote, and to encourage voter participation today,’’ chief electoral officer Robert Peden says.
It also launched the Electoral Commission Suffrage Scholarships for postgraduate students.
School students have the chance to win book vouchers for themselves and schools, by entering the Take Part Through Art poster competition.
Entries close on November 1 at 5pm.