Thursday 20 September 2018

then and now

I regret not encountering this sooner—plus anything I might have done to make International Talk like a Pirate Day more significant than taking a moment to acknowledge the hard and ongoing struggles of women to achieve political parity with Suffrage Day, which is observed on 19 September to mark the passage of the Electoral Bill in 1893 granting women franchise.
Women were not eligible to stand for Parliament until 1919 but saw significant advances in the meantime and during the ensuing decades. To commemorate this one-hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary, female members of the nation’s legislature plus the prime minister (New Zealand’s third woman to hold the position) plus her infant daughter posed to recreate a photograph from 1905 to illustrate how democracies can evolve and be a force of enlightenment. Seeing the juxtaposition made me happy and relieved to know that there are still places and constituencies that value and cherish progress and diversity.