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2023 Editorial Board

Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando (Victoria University)

Shirin Brown (Auckland University of Technology)

Dr Heather Devere (Otago University)

Nashie Shamoon (Victoria University)

Heather Tribe (Otago University)


2022 Editorial Board

Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando (Victoria University)

Heather Tribe (Otago University)

Nashie Shamoon (Victoria University)

Dr Heather Devere (Otago University)

2020-2021 Co-Editors

Lara Greaves (University of Auckland):

Jennifer Curtin (University of Auckland)


2019 Editor

Sarah Hendrica Bickerton (Victoria University): 


2018 Co-Editors

Sylvia Nissen (Lincoln University):

Jean Drage (Lincoln University):

2017 Co-Editors

Priya Kurian (University of Waikato):

Gauri Nandedkar (University of Waikato):

2016 Co-Editors

Priya Kurian (University of Waikato):

Greta Snyder (Victoria University of Wellington): greta.snyder@vuw.ac.nz

2015 Lead Editor

Lena Tan (University of Otago): lena.tan@otago.ac.nz

2015 Associate Editor

Anthony Deos: anthony.deos@gmail.com

2015 Editorial Board

Jennifer Curtin (Auckland): j.curtin@auckland.ac.nz

Beth Greener (Massey): b.greener@massey.ac.nz 

Janine Hayward (Otago): janine.hayward@otago.ac.nz

Bronwyn Hayward (Canterbury): bronwyn.hayward@canterbury.ac.nz

Priya Kurian (Waikato): pkurian@waikato.ac.nz

Greta Synder (Victoria): greta.snyder@vuw.ac.nz


Women Talking Politics is a network promoting communication among cis women, trans women, and non-binary persons working on political issues, their research and events across Aotearoa New Zealand and beyond. It is designed to promote communication among cis women, trans women, and non-binary persons working in national and international politics, Māori and indigenous politics, political theory, public policy, political communication and other related disciplines. It includes cis women, trans women, and non-binary persons teaching, researching or actively engaged in women’s issues and politics more broadly. As such it showcases short pieces about research, news and events around a range of these topics.

Women Talking Politics has been an important source of articles, news and discussion about political thought and action written by women since 1987. Temporarily suspended in 2009, after the Christchurch earthquakes, it was brought back at the 2014 NZPSA Conference in December as a new annual Research Magazine.

Women Talking Politics 2023

2023 Issue of Women Talking Politics

Editorial Board: Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Shirin Brown, Heather Devere, Nashie Shamoon, & Heather Tribe.

The 2023 Issue of Women Talking Politics is out now. Click here to read it!

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

Welcome to the latest edition of Women Talking Politics, where we continue to push boundaries and amplify voices at the forefront of feminist discourse. This is in a context where women continue to be affected disproportionately in terms of abuse, war violence and the effects of climate change and yet struggle to have a seat at the decision-making table. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Gaza where the death toll has now past 27,000 and two million people are facing starvation, continuous bombing, and a lack of political will for an immediate ceasefire. In this issue, we've curated a dynamic collection of articles, poems, and perspectives that delve deep into the intersection of feminism, climate change and human rights.

Our commitment to inclusivity shines through as we feature a diverse array of voices from various disciplines, each offering unique insights into the complexities of gender dynamics. From exploring the nuances of race, culture, and class to confronting issues of violence and sexuality, our contributors fearlessly tackle pressing issues facing women today. By actively working to address these issues, we can create a more equitable and inclusive society where the contributions of women and gender scholars and activists are valued and celebrated. In a world reshaped by the pandemic, we've embraced remote collaboration, innovation, transcending geographical barriers to bring you this journal from four separate locations across continents. This innovative approach not only underscores our adaptability but also highlights the power of connectivity in driving meaningful dialogue and collaboration. As editors, we take pride in curating content that challenges the status quo and sparks critical conversations. We invite you to engage with our thought-provoking articles and poems, knowing that your perspectives contribute to the rich tapestry of feminist discourse. At Women Talking Politics, we're more than just a journal—we're a community dedicated to empowering scholars, activists, and students alike. Join us in our mission to elevate voices, bridge gaps, add depth and richness to the discourse. We particularly welcome contributions by early career researchers and from underrepresented groups.

Thank you for being part of this journey.

Ka kite anō, The Women Talking Politics Editorial Board

Women Talking Politics 2022

2022 Issue of Women Talking Politics

Editorial Board: Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Heather Tribe, Nashie Shamoon, & Heather Devere. 

The 2022 Issue of Women Talking Politics is out now. You can find it here.

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa

This issue of Women Talking Politics offers innovative features which present a unique space for debates around topics at the intersection of feminism and human rights because it includes a wider range of voices and formats than those usually accommodated in academic journals. We publish articles and commentaries from several disciplines in a variety of voices - articles engaging gender and its interaction with race, culture, class, nation, violence, and/or sexuality. We have lively, provocative poems that will hopefully prompt intense debate. The pandemic has made it apparent that collaboration does not require in-person contact, possibly making it more feasible to network and start new collaborations. We completed the whole journal based in four separate locations, sometimes across continents.

We want to highlight and celebrate this special contribution and we hope you find this work as cutting-edge and thought-provoking as we do.

Women Talking Politics is an online, open-access, peer-reviewed feminist journal that provides a forum for scholars, activists, and students to explore the relationships among theories of gender and women’s rights and various forms of organizing and critical practice. Our intention is to empower and boost the visibility of the research, early-career researchers, and women’s rights activists. We share relevant writings, with a vision to build bridges and improve connections between individuals and research entities within Aotearoa New Zealand and around the world.

One of the most disturbing recent developments is the rise of open misogyny and gender-based violence worldwide, and this is reflected in the number of submissions we received that address the violent patriarchy. The cover page, photos and a poem are the work of the Latin Feminist Collective based in Aotearoa New Zealand in remembrance of Juliana Herrera, a Colombian woman violently killed by a convicted rapist in our so-called peaceful country. Negar Partow also brings to the attention of the government and New Zealanders the protests here by Iranian women concerning the death in custody in Iran of Mahsa Amini for daring to show more hair under her veil than the government permits. Hafiza Yazdani’s personal commentary on the treatment of women in her home country of Afghanistan by the Taliban, and Elle Dibrova’s article on violence against the LGBT community in Russia provide more evidence of continued and continuous gender-based violence.

Georgie Silk’s poems, threaded through this issue also deal with gender diversity, feminism and women’s support for each other.

More crises in our world are represented in the articles on climate change and the pandemic with insights from Tara Brabazon who provides a feminist analysis of silence, ignorance and post- pandemic resistance in her article, calling for ‘alternative ideas, trajectories and histories’ to be recovered from ‘this pancaked patriarchy’. Heather Tribe’s article is on how issues related to food security and infant feeding impact on women in particular. Another issue exacerbated by the pandemic is access to medicines. Zohreen Ali analyses this as a human right (right to health and right to life) under the various UN conventions in her article.

Peace scholars consider activism and decolonisation as part of the change needed for a more socially just world. Monica Carrer’s commentary looks at gender, the everyday and activism from her research background in studying resistance to conflict in India, and an article on decolonising the field of peace and conflict studies from a gender perspective is provided by Heather Devere, Katerina Standish and Kelli Te Maihāroa.

While there is fear, disappointment, disgust and horror raised by the political writers in this issue, there is hope, strength, clarity and courage interwoven. These are stories that need to continue to be told, these are voices that need to be heard, and these are insights that are needed for our world.

As editors we thank the contributors for these wonderful examples of what gender-based analyses can reveal. We thank the previous editors of Women Talking Politics, in particular Lara Greaves and Jennifer Curtin who guided this publication through the demanding years of the pandemic, and handed over the reins to us this year. We thank the New Zealand Political Studies Association/Te Kāhui Tātai Tōrangapū o Aotearoa for continuing to support this publication, and in particular Richard Shaw the Tumuaki/President and Shirin Brown, Māngai Wahine/Women’s Representative.

We call upon you the readers to help maintain this mahi by responding with commentary, your own research and studies, mentoring students, to keep visible, heard, respected and acknowledged those who might otherwise not appear to be concerned about and impacted by political issues in Aotearoa and internationally.

Women Talking Politics 2020-2021

2020-2021 bumper issue of Women Talking Politics

Co-editors: Lara Greaves & Jennifer Curtin

The 2020-2021 bumper issue of Women Talking Politics is here! Click here to read. 

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karangatanga maha, tēnā koutou katoa.

A lot has happened since we signed on to be editors of the 2020 issue of Women Talking Politics. 2020 was a challenging year for us, and likely for the majority of women working in the political studies space. Many balanced work and whānau commitments alongside the pandemic and its associated challenges. You may have noticed that this edition covers both 2020-2021. This decision was made for numerous reasons, not least because of the added pressures on women academics over this time period. Thus, some of the pieces included here were submitted during 2020: the order of each section of the issue begins with those submitted earlier and ends with those submitted later. Some of the authors opted to update their work for late 2021, whereas others did not - leaving the work as a time capsule of sorts. 

Our peer-reviewed section contains seven articles authored by early, mid-career, and senior women scholars from around Aotearoa New Zealand. Several speak to themes of crisis, change and leadership in what has become a challenging international context, for international relations, and in terms of the pandemic. Others address questions of what is required to advance diverse and effective representation for Māori and migrant women, descriptively, substantively, and symbolically.

Manqing Cheng discusses the ways in which COVID-19 has increased the potential for backsliding on globalisation and multilateralism; through increased protectionism, rising populism, and a potential for focusing increasingly on traditional economic issues pushing aside pressing non-traditional security issues. Mengdi Zhang’s paper also examines an element of international relations, specifically political implications, and diplomatic dimensions of China’s request for extradition of Kyung Yup Kim, a Korean-born New Zealand permanent resident. Regional politics is a feature of Gay Francisco’s analysis of the leadership and rhetoric of two starkly different leaders, Jacinda Ardern and President President Rodrigo Duterte, during their respective COVID-19 lockdown responses in 2020. Heather Devere also explores the power of language through her analysis of the concepts of kindness, compassion and peace, and the extent to which Ardern’s political rhetoric can connect these concepts in a meaningful way.

Two essays discuss findings from their respective pilot projects on the experiences of migrant and ethnic women in politics and during the pandemic. Rachel Simon-Kumar and Priya Kurian examine the continuing barriers to participating in the formal political arena, and the challenges associated with an adversarial Westminster system where ethnic women politicians often experience their roles as marginalised among minorities. The essay reports on a series of discussions with ethnic women candidates whose personalised experiences of this marginalisation highlight how much more work is required for our polity to be wholly inclusive. Meanwhile Barbara Bedeschi-Lewando, Gauri Nandedkar, Sylvia Lima, Shirin Brown, Ema Tagicakibau, Ann Afadama and Randolph Hollingsworth describe early findings of their research into the socio-economic and political implications of COVID-19 on migrant and ethnic women in Aotearoa. The voices of the women reported in this essay reveal both hardship and strength in response to the range of challenges 4 that resulted from the pandemic and the associated lockdowns. Jemma Greenhill’s insightful contribution reminds us that ‘feminism’ as a concept and a practice is not interchangeable between culture, providing a timely analysis of the way that Mana Wahine can be an important tool in decolonising Western feminism while also revealing disparities between Māori and Pākehā. Finally, the issue contains Hanna Thompson’s essay on pay disparity for Māori nurses from a Mana Wahine lens. Thompson’s essay won the 2020 NZPSA undergraduate prize in Māori politics.

The issue also contains a range of research briefs authored by women political studies scholars, emerging and established. Heather Tribe reflects on the changes to her PhD given travel restrictions, to instead focus on the gendered impacts of disasters in Aotearoa. Peyton Bond describes her PhD project on the workplace experiences of indoor sex workers in Aotearoa, discusses the coding and analysis process, and the challenges that sex workers face. Lydia Le Gros discusses her masters research on the language of New Zealand’s counterterrorism discourse. Danella Glass, a new PhD student at Otago, discusses her upcoming work on the continuing conflict between two rival transnational normative communities in the area of sexual and reproductive rights. Oluwakemi Igiebor discusses her recently completed PhD research on a feminist institutionalist approach to academic institutions in Nigeria. Nashie Shamoon provides an overview of her Masters work on the identity of young Assyrian New Zealanders and Australians, and their connections to historical struggle and persecution. Lastly, Rose Cole describes an overview and her approach to her thesis on the role of private secretaries in minister’s offices in New Zealand. We can be assured that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the future of women’s political studies’ contributions is very bright!

Alongside this, a number of women political science academics authored and edited books during the pandemic, and progressed funded projects; a small fraction of whom discuss their work here. Lara Greaves, Janine Hayward, and Claire Timperley who describe the journey to publish Government and Politics in Aotearoa New Zealand while Maria Armoudian describes her book, Lawyers Beyond Borders, which explores the ways in which lawyers have advanced human rights abuse cases through international courts. Priya Kurian describes her two-year project with colleagues on the perspectives of Māori and non-Māori on gene-editing technologies, an increasingly important policy issue.

Two emerging scholars discuss their innovative current research projects. We hear from recent MBIE Te Whitinga post-doctoral fellowship recipient Sylvia Frain, who describes her upcoming work with Fiona Amundsen on the legacies of nuclear imperialisms across Oceania. Mona Krewel describes the New Zealand Social Media study, which started across the 2020 General Election and provides a great base for ongoing work monitoring the social media communications of politicians and parties in Aotearoa.

The issue also contains a stimulating and timely creative piece. Shirin Brown provides an excerpt from her script The Me Not Movement from the Short and Sweet Theatre Festival 2019. Brown’s spirited script touches on many pertinent themes for the current times including reproductive rights, the climate, and inequality.

Finally, the issue contains two book reviews. A review from Esme Hall covers Coleman’s From Suffrage to a Seat in the House: A Path to Parliament for New Zealand Women (Otago University Press). Esme provides a detailed overview of the events, debates, and perspectives covered in the book, and some of its limitations. Lara Greaves provides a light-hearted review of Hill’s Taking the Lead: How Jacinda Wowed the World (Picture Puffin), a beautifully illustrated children’s book which covers Ardern’s life and early years as Prime Minister. 

The editors would like to acknowledge the generous support and help of the New Zealand Political Studies Association (NZPSA) Te Kāhui Tātai Tōrangapū o Aotearoa, including President Patrick Barrett, Executive Secretary Peter Skilling, and Treasurer Jack Vowles. We would like to thank the immediate past editor, Sarah 5 Bickerton for her assistance, and our cover image. Our thanks also go to our research assistant Frank Gore for his help with proofreading and formatting, and to our colleagues who took the time to review the articles included here. Lastly, we would also like to thank the contributors for their excellent pieces and efforts in trying times. We are pleased to have brought together a collection of pieces that are diverse in career stage and areas of the discipline. 

Women Talking Politics 2019

2019 Issue of Women Talking Politics

Editor: Sarah Hendrica Bickerton

2019 was a year of local government elections where women took a front seat in many of the contests and often won. We also saw progress domestically around such things as abortion law reform, an updating of the births, deaths, marriages, and relationships act, potential changes to how sexual assault victims are treated in court cases post- the Grace Millane trial. We also saw massive youth-led Climate Strike protests around the world, inspired by the activism of Greta Thunberg, against inaction on global climate change. And a photo from one such protest on the lawn of our Parliament here in New Zealand graces the cover of Women Talking Politics this year.

The journal opens with a piece on the local government elections this year, specifically looking at the question of the ‘womenquake’ of women’s electoral success in the 2019 local government elections, as written by Jean Drage.

The articles cover a spread of topics, from climate politics ten years on from Copenhagen from Raven Cretney & Sylvia Nissen, to the ‘Dunedin Model’ of decriminalised sex work by Peyton Bond, a restorative reorientation of the criminal justice system from Sarah Roth Shank, the EU’s disintegration over refugee responsibility from Laura MacDonald and Ayca Arkilic, and Bethan Greener on pursuing the WPS agenda.

The reflections are a couple engaging pieces, one from Maria Bargh and Lydia Wevers on why land is never just land, and another from Emily Beausoleil on transforming unjust ‘structures of feeling’. We also have four research briefs from Lara Greaves, Nadine Kreitmeyr, Francesca Dodd, and Trang Thu Autumn Nguyen.

We finish with two excellent book reviews, from Rae Nicholls on the authorised biography of Annette King from John Harvey & Brent Edwards, and from Margaret Hayward on “Marilyn Waring the political years”, the autobiographical account from Marilyn Waring.

I do hope you enjoy this year’s edition of the magazine, and I wish to express my thanks to Jean Drage and especially Sylvia Nissen, co-editors of WTP in 2018, for their wonderful help and guidance.

Sarah Hendrica Bickerton

Editor, Women Talking Politics 2019

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