women and equality in aotearoa new zealand


By gaining the vote in 1893, New Zealand women took a major step towards the right to determine political, physical and personal lives. But 125 years later women are still fighting for their stories to be heard.

What did those women of 1893 want for the lives of women coming after them?What would they think about where Aotearoa New Zealand is today?


"Making space for women in the stories we tell about the past can help make space for women in the stories we tell about our future".




This website gives you and your students eight different ways to investigate, evaluate and celebrate how far we've come and how far we have to go.  Choose a theme or just pick and choose what appeals to you. There are no rules. 

There are however, 3 things we'd like you to keep in mind on your journey.


3 things to remember

'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 471-9746'.jpg

#1 check

Can I see myself?

Are people that look like me here?  Can I see people that share the same beliefs as me? If not, why not? Can't find a woman like you or from a community you identify with - put her in your exhibition.  Representation is important.

#2 under or over?

Think about representation all...the...time.

Play the clip below and listen to Alice Canton talk about a way to think about representation.  Her Under/Over method for thinking about representation is a great one.  Use this method all the way through your work - any time you collect a group of stories together or begin to tell a new one.  Critique the examples we've given you; the faces you see (and don't see).  Just as importantly use this method to critique your own work and your own surroundings.

#3 look

At the numbers. Look at how things stack up. Take a look at where we are.

Ask - How is that different from where we want to be? Are we all starting from the same place and heading in the same direction? Data is power. The power to tell stories. The power to understand the world. Access to data can tell you about your place in the world, how you measure up, what's available to you and what's happening to you. Use the FigureNZ website and the data sentence cards provided in your kit to help you progress through these tasks.


This exhibition celebrates the 125th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Aotearoa - but how far has New Zealand really come since women gained the vote? This contemporary exhibition uses the historic anniversary as a springboard to examine the successes and speed-bumps of gender equality so far, and where to next. Equal pay, reproductive rights, gendered violence, online trolling, legal rights and body image are all up for discussion and interrogation. Photographs of trailblazers, ground-breaking marches, and posters and publications from the Museum’s collection will be on display, including rarely-shown photography by Gil Hanly, Emily Lear and Robin Morrison. A short-film directed by renowned filmmaker Gaylene Preston has been created especially for Are We There Yet?