When I think of suffrage the role models I think about those that are not too distant from me. By that I mean, my mother was a champion for the rights of women. She was assertive, she placed a strong emphasis on education being fundamental to supporting our wellbeing and life choices, she had a hard work ethic and ‘leaned into’ leadership roles – some by choice but mostly because a job needed to be done.
You see politics in my whanau was not based around the 6 o’clock news but rather the days events. She would make sure that the evening meal was the opportunity for us to sharpen our political perspective and we would talk about everything from the days events, what was happening in the tribe or the world.
What I remember most was her keen analysis and wise perspective. She mentored other women who worked alongside her and she was a stalwart in upholding the sanctity of whānau. I am richer for the fact that she led by example and I hope to demonstrate that same passion, enthusiasm for life and servant based leadership so my daughter will know – there is a suffragette in her too!