Katherine Wilson Sheppard born 10th March 1847, died 13th July 1934 was one of New Zealand’s most honorary people. She is considered to be an important figure in New Zealand's history. Kate Sheppard fought for the women of New Zealand and was successful in doing so.
In 1893 New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow women to vote.With 32,000 signatures a 766 foot long petition was laid out across the room. It was then the largest petition ever presented to Parliament. The Electoral Act 1893 was passed by both houses of Parliament and became law on 19 September. The news took New Zealand by storm and inspired suffrage movements all over the world.
The year after women's suffrage was achieved, Kate returned to England for a short amount of time, where she then gave a number of speeches. As she returned home, she was elected president of the newly-founded National Council of Women of New Zealand which was the voice for the people. Sheppard later became involved in the production of the council's newspaper, the White Ribbon.
In 1903, Kate stepped down from her positions at the National Council of Women due to ill health.
Kate Sheppard is still being acknowledged. A memorial to her exists in Christchurch, and her image appears on New Zealand's Ten dollar note.