Women And Women 's Political Status

1632 WordsMay 14, 20157 Pages
Traditionally, politics has been a gendered occupation. Men and women have been socially constructed to believe only men are capable of political representation. The problem lies within an institutional bias, where unnatural distinctions have been put in place from a young age. In New Zealand, the presence and contribution of women have been pivotal to the make up of contemporary party politics. Achieving parliamentary recognition and political representation peaked during the 1970s when the country was experiencing large changes in its economic and social environment. Through activism and pressure groups, women were able to seek recognition in New Zealand’s political domain. The change to Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) eased the access of different political groups to parliament, improving the representation of minority groups such as women that have been under-represented in politics. Proportional representation offered new opportunities in terms of policy change through women’s political participation. It has, however, been argued that the structure of proportional representation has been a hindrance toward a significant step forward for women’s political participation. This essay will discuss to what extent the contribution of women through time, coupled with the shift to a new electoral system in a changing social environment, has been a step forward for women’s political participation in New Zealand party politics. Kate Sheppard and other suffrage campaigners

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