This September marks the 125th anniversary of New Zealand becoming the first self-governing country in the world to grant women the right to vote.

Kate Sheppard served on the  YWCA Christchurch  board

Kate Sheppard served on the YWCA Christchurch board

125 years ago Kate Sheppard, along with fellow campaigners, presented a 32,000 strong petition to Parliament demanding women’s suffrage — an instrumental move that made New Zealand the 1st self-governing country to grant national voting rights to women.

(Fun fact: Kate Sheppard served on the board of the YWCA Christchurch)

Read about  MāOri suffragist, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia

Read about MāOri suffragist, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia

The news of the ground breaking work done by our suffragist spread globally, with congratulations pouring in from Britain, Australia, the United States and elsewhere: one wrote that New Zealand’s achievement gave "new hope and life to all women struggling for emancipation". Ultimately the work of the suffragists in Aotearoa paved the way for women in other countries gaining the same rights. 

A century and a quarter later, women’s representation is still lagging in politics, and the fight for gender equality is still being fought.

The significance of the suffrage movement has not diminished, and the tenacity of our suffragist foremothers continue to inspire us and remind us that true equality is not only possible, but inevitable. We think that is worth celebrating. 


YWCA Hamilton

National Council of Women Hamilton Branch, YWCA of Hamilton and Zonta Hamilton invite you to an evening of celebration and reflection. There will be entertainment, as well as guest speakers. It will be an evening to remember!

Ticket prices include a donation to Waikato Women's Refuge and SHAMA.

Wednesday 19th September 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Tickets $45 adults, $25 high school students


YWCA Christchurch

The Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel invites you to celebrate the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand. 

She will be joined by the Prime Minister, Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern as keynote speaker. The Prime Minister will also lead a special questions and answers session, on the stage, with young women leaders from secondary schools throughout Christchurch.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be given to the YWCA Christchurch. The YWCA in Christchurch was founded in 1883, 10 years before women got the vote. Kate Sheppard served on its Board for several years in the late 1880s.

Thu 13 Sep 2018 4:00 PM

Tickets $10


YWCA Auckland

In commemoration with Suffrage 125, YWCA Auckland presents Ka Tu Maia Young Women’s Leadership Summit 2018.

The summit brings together a diverse range of speakers and panelists aimed at empowering young women to achieve their dreams, inspiring them to think big and teaching them the practical skills to do just that.

Sat 8 September 2018 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM

Tickets $25