How Did Feminism Change New Zealand?

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Feminism has changed New Zealand’s society slowly over time, however with significance. Although we take no notice of these changes, without feminism woman would not have the right to vote, have equal pay to men, or have the right to make there own decisions about pregnancy. Feminism once frowned upon, is now becoming more socially accepted by both men and woman.

In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to give woman the right to vote. Woman had gained inspiration to fight for their voting rights from John Stuart Mill. Feminist had tried to have the bill passed in 1878, 1879 and 1887. The bill was not passed several times due to ‘anti-feminist’ believing that politics was not natural for woman. However when the bill was finally passed, it was due to “personality issues ad political accident” as stated in the article ‘Woman’s suffrage in New Zealand.’ Once the bill was passed Woman placed there first votes on the 28th of November that year. It took two decades of voting, but woman felt that it was all worth the wait and hard-work. “This was just one step in the process of making us equal” say feminist. Women were not allowed to be elected to the House of Representatives until 1919. Recent Statistics show that one third of parliament members are now female, such as the prime-minister of New Zealand Helen Clark, along side; Governor-general chief justice and speaker of the house representatives’.

Another aim of feminist was to be paid equally to men. Until 1961 Woman were paid less then men. More then 30 years later the equal pay act is still disregarded, without over half of our society knowing it. Statistics prove that even with the ‘Equal pay Act’ Women are still paid a great deal less then men. Statistics from 2006 show that woman are paid 20% less then men. So for a woman to earn what a male earns in the time frame of a year, she would have to work a year and 5 months. As stated in the article from ‘The Dominion 24 April 1996 "Gender pay...
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