A Feminist a Day: Kate Sheppard

Who is she?

kate sheppardKate Sheppard is New Zealand’s most famous suffragette. She also appears on their ten dollar note.

Kate helped establish the New Zealand Women’s Christian Temperance Union and became heavily involved with the suffragist movement. Noted as a powerful speaker and skilled organiser, Kate presented a petition for suffrage to the Parliament in 1891. Two more petitions followed and in 1892 women were granted full voting rights. With the next election only 10 weeks after, Kate rallied NZ women and despite the short time-frame, a whopping two thirds of women cast a vote.

She went on to found the  National Council of Women of New Zealand, which continued to push for advancing women’s rights.

Why should we thank her?

New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant women the vote, so you could argue she’s the most influential suffragette in history. After helping to win the vote for women in NZ, Kate met with British and American suffragettes, gave speeches and was active in promoting women’s suffrage in the UK.

Best quote

“All that separates, whether of race, class, creed, or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome.”

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A Feminist a Day: Kate Sheppard

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