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Jacinda Ardern marks suffrage 125 and 'amazing lengths' women made in right to vote

The Prime Minister paid tribute to suffragettes and leading New Zealand women in a speech celebrating 125 years since women won the right to vote in New Zealand. 

Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS

Jacinda Ardern told the audience it was special "to be in Christchurch to mark suffrage 125, the home of Kate Sheppard, and Elizabeth McCombs, the first woman MP, and Mabel Howard, the first female cabinet Minister."

"Is there something in your water?"

Ms Ardern spoke of the "amazing lengths" women went to to gain the right to vote.

"Women who walked miles through the night, to get a chance to sign. Women who took a leap of faith, and risked their standing, their marriages, in some cases, to put their name on a document with no guarantee it’d lead to any success at all."

"They were ordinary women, but each was extraordinary in their own way."

Within the ordinary sits the extraordinary. Each of the women, who just got on with it, has a story that can inspire us, to just get on with it too.

Ms Ardern said issues people like Kate Sheppard, Elizabeth Mabel, Whetu Tirikātene-Sullivan, and Helen Clark were fighting for, "economic independence, freedom from violence, equal pay, are issues we are still grappling with today".