IWD 2018 Message from Governor-General of New Zealand

Message for UN Women - National Committee Aotearoa

International Women’s Day

Thursday 8 March, 2018

Kia ora tatou

125 years ago this year, New Zealand became the first country in the world to give women the right to vote.

The actions of the women who mobilised support to get that momentous piece of legislation passed provided an early lesson in what can be achieved when we join together and press towards a common goal.

The legacy of those early suffragists has been the development of one of the world’s most equal societies. There are few barriers in New Zealand to women’s participation in politics, education, business and employment.

Today, as we join with women all around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day, we can rightly feel proud of the leadership our country has shown in empowering women. New Zealand women were in the vanguard of activists and campaigners who raised their voices to progress gender equality and female participation at all levels of society.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Time is Now: Rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives.”  I would like to acknowledge the many impassioned, committed and determined people working for the benefit of women all around the world. By pressing for progress, they improve lives and outcomes for women and girls everywhere.

It is only through concerted action that the momentum for change can be maintained and your organisation has its part to play. I wish UN Women-National Committee Aotearoa and its members nationwide all the best for the future.

Dame Patsy Reddy


Governor-General of New Zealand