Middle School student Liardet Anderson took her project on women’s rights all the way to parliament.
The Year 10 student was instructed to write a report on women’s rights as part of a Humanities project.
Liardet interviewed a number of women to get a range of different perspectives and examine how women’s rights had developed over the years.
“I wanted to look at the changes over time and see what women had gained, lost and fought for,” Liardet says.
Among Liardet’s interviewees were her 85 year-old grandmother and former Wellington Mayor Fran Wilde.
Liardet left no stone unturned in her investigation and approached Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Women Paula Bennett, who invited Liardet to parliament to discuss her project.
“I asked her who were her role models from when she was growing up and what made her strive to get to the position she is in today,” Liardet says.
“One thing she said that I really liked was ‘people protesting can have a stronger voice than a politician’. This says to me that we don’t have to be silent and we can voice our words and in doing that we can make change.”
Liardet concluded that women’s rights have changed dramatically since the days of Kate Shepard and the NZ women’s suffrage movement.
“I have learnt that my generation has a lot more opportunities,” she says.
“I think the most important thing I learnt was that there are other women out there who do not realise that they have a voice and they can use it.”