- Standing on the Shoulders
Standing on the Shoulders
The women of Aotearoa New Zealand gained the right to vote in September 1893, after a hard-fought campaign and several massive, nationwide petitions. To honour the Suffragists on the 125th anniversary of winning the vote, this exhibition celebrates many of our most illustrious, revolutionary, courageous, inspirational, empowering, luminous, innovative and influential women.
From Te Puea Hērangi to Lorde, from weavers to war heroes, Standing on the Shoulders… celebrates a diverse range of women, as well as showcasing the breadth of material in our collections of archived radio, television and film.
For our curators, selecting the women was the single hardest task in the creation of the exhibition. Our only fixed criteria was that they must appear in our online collection. There are thousands of wonderful women in Aotearoa who have contributed to their communities. This selection should be seen as a representative sample.
The exhibition is a permanent online memorial, honouring those on whose shoulders the women of Aotearoa now stand.
We initially included more than 60 women in the exhibition for the launch on 19 September 2018 (the day, in 1893, the suffrage legislation finally became law). We added another selection on November 28 (the anniversary of the first general election in which women could vote) and on International Women’s Day, on March 8, 2019, we added a further group to take the final number of women profiled to 125.