Women at several TEU branches will be celebrating the 118th anniversary of women’s suffrage next Monday. TEU women at both Victoria University and Lincoln University are hosting Suffrage Day breakfasts, while Waiariki polytechnic women have organised a series of events during the day with a strong focus on encouraging women to enrol for the upcoming election and referendum.
The universities themselves are both supporting the respective breakfasts at Lincoln and Victoria, with the vice-chancellor at Lincoln funding the entire breakfast, and the vice chancellor at Victoria funding half of the breakfast.
A central issue for women commemorating Suffrage Day this year is the upcoming referendum on MMP.
“Suffrage wasn’t something that happened just once, a hundred years ago,” said TEU women’s vice president Alexandra Sims. “It’s an on-going process to ensure women have fair representation and participation in all aspects of politics. MMP has given more women a voice in Parliament – that’s why it’s a suffrage issue this year.”
When MMP was introduced the number of women in Parliament rose immediately from 21 percent to 29 percent and has subsequently remained over 30 percent ever since.
“Across the world women are better represented in parliaments with proportional voting systems. If we want to protect and grow our political voice women need to vote to retain MMP at this year’s referendum,” said Associate Professor Alex Sims.