People & Values

Breaking Barriers: Celebrating Wāhine Toa in Aotearoa New Zealand

In Aotearoa New Zealand, the spirit of progressiveness and gender equality has been foundational for over a century. It’s a place that doesn’t just talk about equality – it’s something New Zealanders strive for and value.

From being the first country in the world where women won the right to vote in 1893 to having a female Prime Minister, Chief Justice, and Governor-General at the same time, New Zealand has consistently set the benchmark for gender empowerment.

The stories of Wāhine Toa (strong women) from New Zealand are testaments to the nation’s commitment to gender equity. There are many examples of remarkable women who have blazed trails, shattered stereotypes, and championed the cause.

Georgina Beyer was the world’s first openly transgender Member of Parliament. Her journey from the small town of Taranaki to the hallowed halls of New Zealand’s Parliament is nothing short of inspiring. It underscores New Zealand’s dedication to ensure that every voice is heard and respected.

New Zealand was also one of the first countries to legislate marriage equality, further solidifying its commitment to acceptance and equal rights for all its citizens.

There are countless Wāhine Toa that have paved the way for generations to come. They are the voices that have changed the narrative and reshaped the perception of gender norms in society.  

New Zealand celebrates these extraordinary women – past and present – by sharing their stories with the world. Discover how their tireless efforts continue to shape the landscape of this progressive nation.

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