Jill Ovens resigned from New Zealand’s Labour Party to start the Women’s Rights Party

After women’s rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen was mobbed and assaulted in New Zealand, longtime feminist and socialist Jill Ovens decided she’d had enough. The following week, Jill resigned from the Labour Party and founded the Women’s Rights Party, which states, on their website:

“We want a world that is safe and fair for women and girls

The Women’s Rights Party is a party of women and men who believe in democracy, equality, and biological reality.

Sex is binary

Human beings cannot change sex

Women are adult humans of the female sex”

Jill had been an active member of the Labour Party but had become increasingly angered as women’s voices were not being listened to. Since retiring from the union movement, she has thrown her energy into the Women’s Rights Party, which has set out to recruit 500 members so they can register as a political party and be on the ballot in the New Zealand General Election in October.

The Women’s Rights Party aims to give women an option on the ballot paper who
find themselves politically homeless as mainstream parties have stopped listening to women and their concerns. In addition to contesting Parliamentary and local body elections, they hope to influence cross party policies to promote and uphold the rights and status of women and girls.

In this episode, I speak with Jill about her political history and why she formed the Women’s Rights Party. 

Jill Ovens resigned from New Zealand's Labour Party to start the Women's Rights Party
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist from Vancouver, BC. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, Quillette, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and is now exiled in Mexico with her very photogenic dog.