Monday, September 19, 2005

Suffrage Day

About Town reminds us that today is Suffrage Day. On September 19th 1893, we became the first country in the world to have full, universal suffrage, irrespective of gender. That's well worth celebrating, but with the caveat that we still have a long way to go. As DPF points out, only 40 out of 122 MPs are women; the candidate selection and list ranking policies of the major parties have meant that women's votes have not properly translated into women's representation. Still, the trend is encouraging - last election it was only 34, and under FPP it was half that. Hopefully the progress will continue.


I'm trying to teach my daughter about suffrage day but sept 19th is also International Talk like a pirate day and she gets confused, y'know with pirates being the last place to embrace feminism 'n all....yarrrrrrrr! check it out

Posted by Anonymous : 9/19/2005 01:34:00 PM

oops, it's dot "org" rather than "co" if anyone cares.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/19/2005 02:09:00 PM

Women are always going to be hampered by biology, it's that getting pregnant and then wanting to spend time with their babies thing.

Posted by Muerk : 9/19/2005 05:21:00 PM

In my experience women are a litle less intersted in politics at least in the way that would have you going around debating it all the time.
Therefore it would take a reasonably significant bias in favour of women to even the numbers (with good and bad side effects).

Posted by Genius : 9/20/2005 07:11:00 AM

for example how many NZ female political bloggers are there?
I cant think of many - and I dont think Blogger is sexist...

Posted by Genius : 9/20/2005 07:12:00 AM

yes there are many less female nz pol bloggers, and yes we have had this debate before, many times.

when i was actively involved in students' association politics there were roughly as many women on the left as men, but the right was heavily male. that's off the top of my head, not sitting down and doing the counting. blogs roughly follow that trend in my mind - there are more women on the left than on the right, but there are a lot more right wing blogs than left, hence the lack of women bloggers over all. well it's one theory.

Posted by Span : 9/20/2005 09:04:00 AM

I'm very interested in politics. I am also left-wing, and a woman, and I blog. But my blog is only occasionally political, and often personal, so you couldn't really call it a 'political blog' per se. Are women bloggers less likely to concentrate on one subject?

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 10:29:00 AM

good point anon, i do tend to want to post on other things, although i'm not sure that my political readership want to read them.

Posted by Span : 9/20/2005 11:45:00 AM

Counting MPs still seems an overly simplistic way of measuring equality and/or participation to me.
We don't go around with statistical analysis of the All Blacks to try and ensure a maori/pakeha/(other ethnicities) balance.. we seem to've got past that.
It amazes me that men's interests are as-yet unrepresented by an advocating body.. as if the number of men in power/authority automatically ensures that's taken care of (which is an incredibly cynical assumption). Stats like the suicide rate, schooling success (or otherwise), prostrate cancer, road death etc say otherwise.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 02:10:00 PM

there are a number of men's lobby groups by they don't seem to get much "mainstream" support - eg MENZ, the Union of Fathers, etc. Didn't Tamihere speak a couple of months ago at a big conference on issues for men?

Posted by Span : 9/20/2005 03:17:00 PM

Span.. yeah true, I meant official groups like DWA, DMPIA.

It's also interesting talking to guys involved in these groups to find the distrust they meet from some women's groups.. a case in point being a men's stopping violence program that consistently meets with skepticism and heavy funding competition from women's refuge etc. You'd think they should be able to cooperate, but the distrust runs too deep.
Which leads back to my point a couple of week's back on treating pay equity as a gender issue or otherwise - if an approach potentially deepens gender divisions in NZ rather than healing them, I believe it's the wrong approach.

Posted by Anonymous : 9/20/2005 03:27:00 PM