Suffrage and sensibility

Column Articles
Friday, September 18, 2015

“Looking back to slavery, suffrage and integration, one thing is clear: Fashions in bigotry come and go, but the right thing lasts”, wrote US author Anna Quindlen.

This Saturday we celebrate 122 years since New Zealand decided to throw off the hindrances which prevented women from voting. What a fantastic achievement we can be proud of as we recognise the struggle that women went through to gain voting equality.

Putting limitations on people’s potential sabotages our communities. We still see forms of it today.

When a girl gets told that science and maths are for boys. When a female leader’s clothes receive more critical attention than her arguments. Or vice versa, when boys are told that compassion and consideration are signs of weakness and appropriate only for women.

We’re not above this in New Zealand, and I’m sure you have your own experiences. Keep an eye out for ways we box people in and discourage them exploring their potential. 

Ultimately success comes by being part of something bigger than ourselves and helping others to flourish.