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Date set for He Tohu opening at National Library

February 23rd, 2017 By Kate Potter
He tohu logo.

There is a growing sense of excitement amongst the learning team at the National Library in the lead up to the opening of He Tohu, a permanent exhibition of three documents that have shaped our nation: He Whakaputanga, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition. The exhibition will open to the public on 20 May 2017.

The exhibition will be officially opened the day before by the Governor General, Her Excellency Dame Patsy Reddy. It’s a fitting tribute to the hard work of the suffragists and to all who signed and supported the 1893 petition that an exhibition celebrating its success will be opened by a woman who holds such a key leadership position.

A focus on contemporary issues

A range of learning resources is being developed for He Tohu, extending the reach of the exhibition to schools throughout the country. The resources will be available on the He Tohu website once it is launched in Term 2.

The resources will focus on both the history and the ongoing significance of the three documents.

Gender equality resource – a taste of what’s to come

Learning about life in the 1890s can help students to appreciate the effort that went into achieving rights we now take for granted. But for meaningful learning to occur, students need to be able to connect their learning to their everyday lives. In relation to the 1893 Women’s Suffrage Petition, one of the questions that the learning facilitators at the library are posing is:

  • Why does gender inequality exist in Aotearoa New Zealand, and what can we do to change this?

The Gender Equality resource being created for He Tohu will support teachers to explore this important issue with their classes.

Cartoon showing a male politician helping a woman to the summit of Parliamentary heights, and another male politician preventing another woman from reaching the summit of social justice heights.
Sharon Murdoch, 'How far we've come', 2015. Ref: DCDL-0031650.

Gender bias starts young

A key contributor to the gender pay gap is gender bias – and it’s not just an issue affecting adults. Household jobs done by children in Aotearoa New Zealand also show gender differences.

For example, girls are more likely to spend time tidying their bedrooms, doing dishes or laundry, and looking after siblings. Boys are more likely to take out the rubbish, mow the lawns/do gardening and clean the car. Perhaps more revealingly, boys in Aotearoa get, on average, $3 more pocket money per week than girls. No wonder we have a gender pay gap!

Planning a visit to Wellington with your class? Book a visit to He Tohu!

Advance bookings for a He Tohu educator-led programme are now being taken. Programmes are free of charge and can be adapted for any year level. To make a booking or to find out more, email natlibtours@dia.govt.nz.

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Julia Delogu
19 May 2017 7:16am

Looking forward to this!