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March 5, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Polsoc Hosts Women in Politics Event

On Wednesday 28 February 2018 the Victoria University Politics Society hosted its first event of the year, Women in Politics: Encouraging Leadership.

The panel included Deputy Leader of the National Party Paula Bennett, Labour MP Louisa Wall, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman, and New Zealand First MP Tracey Martin.

The MPs opened up about their experiences as women and as members of other marginalised groups in politics, crediting support networks — both formal and informal — for facilitating an increasing number of women in office in recent years.

A key theme to emerge from the discussion was the difference in how male and female politicians are treated by the public and on social media. Ghahraman received death threats last year, which were referred to Interpol, and Bennett got lawyers involved over an “onslaught” of social media abuse in 2017.

“When’s the last time a male politician got accused of being a gigolo?” Martin said.

President of the Politics Society William Wilkinson said the aim of the Society in 2017 was “to invoke discussion and friendly political debate so that all sides of the political spectrum can have a say on a non-partisan playing field”.

Future Victoria University Political Society enterprises (dates to be confirmed) will include the Political Society AGM, Drinks with Politicians, and political story writing competitions.

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