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Work


Voices of Women

for four voices, violin, marimba, piano and percussion

  ·  Duration:  22m

Duration:  22m

Composer:   Janet Jennings

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About

Voices of Women features a compilation of words spoken and written by women of diverse cultural backgrounds in a work that celebrates New Zealand's acknowledgment in 1893 of women's right to vote. The struggle for suffrage began many years before and was not gained fully for many years after in other parts of the world, for example, in Australia (1901), Britain (1928), Turkey (1934), France (1944), Hong Kong (1949), Switzerland (1971), and Bahrain (2002).

The work begins with words from one of Kate Sheppard's most influential speeches of 1892. A poem follows, by American feminist Charlotte Perkins Gilman, published in 1911, that wittily summarises the arguments faced by those who fought for suffrage; her fellow countrywomen did not gain the right to vote for another nine years. In New Zealand, Ākenehi Tōmoana, a prominent Māori leader of chiefly status, advocated the inclusion of women in decision making. Kate Sheppard's words of 19 September 1893, when the Electoral act was signed into law, are followed by the words of Jacinda Ardern, speaking in parliament on the 19th September 2018, as New Zealanders celebrated 125 years of female suffrage in New Zealand.

from the liner notes of the album Voices of Women (Atoll Records)



Text note

Kate Sheppard, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Ākenehi Tōmoana, Jacinda Ardern