Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was the keynote speaker at a function at the Beehive last night to mark 125 years of women’s suffrage in new Zealand.The 2017 general election saw 46 women elected to New Zealand’s 52nd Parliament, 125 years after New Zealand women won the right to vote. We now have 120 members of Parliament, and 38% are women – the highest number New Zealand has ever had since women were first allowed to stand for Parliament in 1919. The previous record was in 2008, when 41 women were elected to the 49th Parliament. At 75%, the Green Party has the highest percentage of women among its caucus. The Labour Party has the highest number of women in its caucus (21 out of 46). Women also hold a number of significant positions in New Zealand Parliament including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley and Assistant Speaker Poto Williams.
Almost all of Parliament’s 46 women MPs plus the PM’s baby gathered in the Parliamentary Library building yesterday for this photograph.The current library building opened in 1899, five years after women got the vote but it was not till 1933 that the first women MP was eelcted and able to come to rooms like this to read and research.